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Mountaineers in the Pros

Steelers Waive Former WVU DB Kenny Robinson



Kenny Robinson Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have waived Pittsburgh native safety and West Virginia alum Kenny Robinson, the team announced on Monday.

Robinson signed with the Steelers on a reserve/future contract in January after spending his first three pro seasons with the Carolina Panthers. 

He quickly became an essential piece of depth early in training camp, as the Steelers dealt with the absence of Minkah Fitzpatrick and injuries to Damontae Kazee, Keanu Neal and Tre Norwood, leaving Robinson as a starting safety for several works.

He also got plenty of opportunities in the preseason, playing in 97 snaps of defense over three weeks and another 34 on special teams per PFF. He finished with 13 tackles in all situations and recovered a fumble in the finale against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Robison had been battling Miles Killebrew, Norwood and Trenton Thompson to be the Steelers’ No. 4 safety. The other three remain on the team, giving the Steelers six safeties on the active roster. Fellow safety Jalen Elliott was also waived on Monday.

Robinson got his pro start with five XFL games in 2020, when he had 19 tackles and earned a 62.4 overall grade from PFF. He was solid in pass coverage with a 56.3 passer rating against, but got dinged for his run stopping.

As a rookie with the Panthers that fall, he played primarily on special teams. Robinson earned a bigger role in 2021, playing 182 snaps of defense. He had 17 tackles, 12 of which came on defense. Robinson was targeted just one in pass coverage, giving up a 12-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.

In 2022, he spent the entire season on Carolina’s practice squad without appearing in any games. The Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule just five games into the 2022 regular season.

With West Virginia, Robinson burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2017. He played in all 13 games, starting eight, and racked up 46 tackles and three interceptions, tied for the team lead. His highlight of the season came against Texas when he returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown. He was named an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 defensive back following the season.

In 2018, Robinson started 12 games at safety and his production improved across the board. He was second on the team with 77 tackles and second in the Big 12 with four interceptions. His best game came against Texas Tech when he intercepted two passes and made a career-high eight tackles. He was named to the All-Big 12 First Team as a defensive back. 

Robinson left WVU for academic reasons in the spring of 2019 and decided to turn pro in the XFL that spring.

Robinson’s release was one of 10 on Monday to bring the Steelers down to 72 players on their active roster. The team has until 4 p.m. on Tuesday to reach the NFL regular season limit of 53 players.

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