PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent running back Knile Davis and free agent cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on Monday, regrouping after missing out on coveted linebacker Dont'a Hightower by finding depth at two areas of need heading into 2017.
Davis played three-plus seasons with the Chiefs, who selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft. He ran for 463 yards and six touchdowns, both career highs, with Kansas City in 2014 before his career took a turn. His playing time diminished in 2015 and last fall the Chiefs traded Davis to Green Bay for a seventh-round choice in the 2018 draft.
Davis appeared in just two games for the Packers, managing just 5 yards rushing and 4 receiving before being cut. The New York Jets claimed him off waivers, but he never reported. Time for a fresh start in Pittsburgh.
"A little shuffling around last year, the last year of my deal," Davis said. "It shows you how the NFL is. It's business. It's nothing personal."
The 25-year-old Davis will have a shot at being Le'Veon Bell's primary backup. DeAngelo Williams, who played well at times filling in for Bell each of the past two seasons, remains a free agent.
"I've have had to fill in before," Davis said. "I've had 100-yard games in this league. I've done well in this league. I'm prepared for the future."
Pittsburgh will likely also explore Davis as a kickoff returner, an area the team has struggled in recently.
"I feel I can come here and help the Steelers out," Davis said. "It's going to be a big role for me."
Sensabaugh gives Pittsburgh options in the secondary. He spent the first four years of his career with Tennessee before splitting time with the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants.
The 28-year-old Sensabaugh has two interceptions and 22 passes defenced while appearing in 77 games, 29 as a starter. He will get a chance to play on both the outside and as a nickel back for the Steelers, who are looking for someone to play opposite Artie Burns, who blossomed late in the season as a rookie in 2016.
This story has been corrected to show Davis was traded to Green Bay last season.
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