Watson is listed third on the depth chart ahead of Week 1 in Cleveland.
When asked about the team's running back situation, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he's comfortable with James Conner getting some work behind Le'Veon Bell but didn't bother mentioning Watson, Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. That doesn't exactly come as a surprise considering Conner is a 2017 third-round pick, whereas Watson went undrafted in 2015 and only has only regular-season appearance on his ledger. There is a real chance Watson would get involved if Bell were to suffer an injury. The 2015 UDFA rumbled for 173 yards on 37 carries in the preseason to surprisingly beat out Fitzgerald Toussaint for a roster spot.
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. 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 was waived by the Eagles on Thursday.
Watson was promoted from the Eagles' practice squad to their active roster prior to Week 17 and ran the ball nine times for 28 yards in a touchdown in his lone appearance. He'll look to catch on elsewhere as a depth back.
|4||10/1/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ KC||4:25 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ DET||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/12/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/17||@ CIN||8:30 pm|
|16||12/25/17||@ HOU||4:30 pm|