The Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to work out former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers on Sunday, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former Steelers’ WR Eli Rogers, who tore his ACL in January during the postseason and has made a strong and quicker-than-expected comeback from his injury, is scheduled to work out Sunday for the KC Chiefs, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 21, 2018
Rogers, 25, first entered the league in 2015 when he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville.
Despite joining the team as an undrafted free agent, Rogers made a nice career for himself as a slot receiver in Pittsburgh during the last two seasons (2016-17), compiling 66 receptions on 102 targets for 743 yards and four touchdowns. Rogers began last season as the Steelers’ fourth receiver on the depth chart but saw less opportunity due to the emergence of then-rookie Ju-Ju Smith Schuster.
Rogers’s season came to an end when he tore his ACL in the Steelers’ divisional-round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field.
Rogers is now an unrestricted free agent, and as of Thursday, he said was ready to go for the 2018 season, per his official Twitter account.
Can’t wait to choose where I’ll be playing this season within these next few days. It’s been a long road of recovery. I appreciate all of my fans who tried to stay connected with me along this process.— Eli Rogers (@__bELIeve17) July 19, 2018
Behind the Steel Curtain (SB Nation) recently questioned why Rogers wouldn’t return to the Steelers, calling it strange for him to go elsewhere, but Rogers spent some time in Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s proverbial doghouse early last season, and that resulted in the healthy benching of Rogers for two straight weeks leading into the Steelers’ regular-season game against the Chiefs.
Tomlin blamed Rogers’ benching on a muffed punt, but other reports said he was running the wrong routes, missing walkthroughs and violating team rules.
Still, Ben Roethlisberger valued Rogers, as he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette back in October.
“He’s an inside slot guy who knows how to get open in man really quick,” Roethlisberger said. “He takes pride in his work. He almost never makes mistakes; if he does, he grows from it. I’m just excited for him to get his opportunity again.”
If Chiefs general manager Brett Veach signs Rogers, he’ll enter an extremely crowded wide receiver room featuring Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Chris Conley, Demarcus Robinson, De’Anthony Thomas, Jehu Chesson, Gehrig Dieter, among others.
Making the team won’t be an easy task, but the vacant Albert Wilson role is wide open. We’ll see if the Chiefs like what they see on Sunday.
Given the results in recent seasons, it may be nice to have a former Steeler with a chip on his shoulder when Kansas City visits Pittsburgh Week 2.
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