The Giants signed Watson to a contract Wednesday, Chris Adamski of TribLive.com reports. Watson opened the 2017 season as the Steelers' No. 3 running back, but didn't do much in the role and was demoted to the practice squad by year's end. He's an interesting name to keep an eye on in redraft leagues ahead of the 2018 campaign given the uncertainty in the Giants backfield.
Watson was signed to the Steelers' practice squad Monday. The Steelers waived Watson on Saturday after the running back mostly saw work on special teams through 10 games. He was replaced by Fitzgerald Toussaint, but Watson could be promoted back to the active roster should Pittsburgh feel it needs additional depth in the backfield.
Watson strengthened his case for a roster spot in Thursday's preseason finale against Carolina, gaining 80 yards on 15 first-half carries, ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler reports. One of the larger running backs in the league, Watson was the third-leading rushing this preseason, taking 37 carries for 173 yards (4.7 average) and a touchdown despite having a long gain of only 15 yards. His consistency running between the tackles puts him in direct competition with 235-pound rookie James Conner, who is a lock to make the team but won't necessarily have a Week 1 role. Fitzgerald Toussaint (leg) offers a very different skill set as a pass-catching threat, but it's unclear whether he'll be healthy for the start of the season. The Steelers don't seem to have a clear plan for what they would do in the event of a Le'Veon Bell injury.
Watson has made a strong case for a roster spot this preseason, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. A 2015 undrafted free agent, Watson apparently has made a strong impression on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin with his powerful downhill running. The 240-pounder has taken 18 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown this preseason, but it still isn't clear where he fits on the roster behind Le'Veon Bell. The team's 2017 third-round pick, James Conner, already provides some power off the bench, while Fitzgerald Toussaint is a capable pass catcher and Knile Davis can help in the return game. The Steelers might find a spot for Watson at Davis' expense, though it would require keeping four tailbacks.
Watson signed a contract with the Steelers on Thursday. In one game with the Eagles last season, Watson had 28 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine carries. He'll look to catch on as a depth running back and special teams player with Pittsburgh in 2017.
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