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John Clay placed on waived/injured list, Steelers sign rookie RB Jason Ford

John Clay is now in the same situation that David Johnson is for the Steelers. He’s been placed on the wavied/injured list. If he clears waivers the team could bring him back if they choose and just place him on IR for the year while he rehabs the injury.  Normally when a player goes on this type of list, they aren’t usually picked up by anyone other than the original team that waived them. The chances of him clearing waivers are probably pretty good, but nothing is ever guaranteed.

Our friend Chuck Finder at @CBSSportsNFLPIT released the news via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon: Steelers activate OT Max Starks off PUP list, waive/injured RB John Clay (reportedly has torn quad); sign rookie RB Jason Ford (U. Illinois). 

Clay joined the team as a rookie free agent in 2011 and was placed on the practice squad. He was signed to the active roster in December last year when rookie Curtis Brown went on IR late in the year. In his first ever NFL carry he scored a 10 yd touchdown against the St. Louis Rams. He also played against Cleveland to finish out the regular season and then against Denver in the playoffs.

To replace Clay, the Steelers have signed Jason Ford – 5′ 10″, 251 lbs out of Illinois. He will compete for a roster spot against Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch, and Chris Rainey who at this point are likely to make the roster. At least that would be my assumption based on the status of these backs and the injuries to others already.

Below is a breakdown of Ford’s year in 2011 in college. 

AT ILLINOIS

2011 – Senior: Played in 12 games, making eight starts at tailback … Second on the team with 600 rushing

Jason Ford, RB, Illinois

yards and had a team-high seven rushing TDs on the season … Finished career with 1,962 rushing yards (16th-most in UI history) and 26 rushing TDs (2nd-most in UI history) … Recorded 11 carries for 43 yards against Minnesota … Had eight carries for 39 yards and three catches for seven yards against Wisconsin … Scored his 26th career rushing touchdown with a one-yard run against Michigan … Had his fourth career 100-yard game with 100 yards on 24 carries at Penn State … Had 10 carries for 83 yards and one touchdown along with a career-high five catches for 69 yards against Purdue … Had 16 carries for 55 yards, including one TD in win over Indiana … Totaled 58 rushing yards, including one TD, in win over Arizona State … Recorded 11 carries for 48 yards and one TD against South Dakota State … Had 86 rushing yards and 2 TDs on a career-high 22 carries in season-opening win over Arkansas State.

2010 – Junior: Played in 12 games and made four starts … Rushed for 480 yards on 99 carries (4.8 ypc) with seven touchdowns … Also caught seven passes for 52 yards and threw a four-yard touchdown pass during 2010 … Had 12 carries for 54 yards and three receptions for 29 yards in Texas Bowl win over Baylor … Had six carries for 50 yards, including a season-long 29-yard run, at Fresno State … Totaled a season-high 17 carries for 86 yards and tied his career high with three rushing TDs in win over Northwestern at Wrigley Field … Had 10 carries for a season-high 91 yards and one TD at Michigan … Did not play against Purdue due to injury … Became the 37th Illini to surpass 1,000 career yards rushing with 47 yards on nine carries in win at Penn State … Also completed his first career pass vs. PSU, a four-yard TD toss, the first Illini non-quarterback TD pass since 2006.

 

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