Long Island’s own Elijah Riley might see his first regular season action for the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.
That’s because the safety from Selden was promoted to the team’s active roster ahead of this week’s match up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Steelers made the announcement this afternoon. This is the second time this season Riley was activated by the Steelers. He was part of the 53-man roster last week against Buffalo but didn’t play.
Riley has spent this season mostly on the Pittsburgh’s practice squad after being cut by the Jets this offseason. He was claimed off waivers by the Black and Gold Aug. 24.
Pittsburgh is ravaged by injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Against future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady, the team will be without All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and its three top cornerbacks Cam Sutton (hamstring), Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) and Levi Wallace (concussion).
The team may look to lean on Riley’s experience, a three-year pro in the league. Last season, he started seven games for the Jets, recording 45 tackles and three tackles for a loss. Riley also played special teams for the Eagles his rookie season in 2020.
Prior to the NFL, Riley had a stellar college career at Army. In 44 games, he accumulated 201 tackles, seven interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He was a captain his senior season and also was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, a prestigious annual honor given to top defensive back in all of college athletics.
In high school, Riley led Newfield to an undefeated season in 2015, culminating in a Long Island Division II championship over MacArthur, 41-33. That year, he also earned the Hansen Award — the top award for a Suffolk County football player.
Want to hear from Riley? Greater Long Island‘s Jamie Stuart Zoom interviewed him before the start of this football season. He talked about making it to the NFL and how it felt to play for his hometown team, the Jets. Watch it in the article below.
Top: This is a 2022 photo of Elijah Riley of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL football team. This image reflects the Pittsburgh Steelers active roster as of Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)