The Steelers signed McFarland to a reserve/future contract Thursday, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: McFarland spent the first two seasons of his career on Pittsburgh's active roster, but he moved down to the practice squad after getting waived in late August. The 2020 fourth-round pick was elevated when rookie Jaylen Warren was inactive with a hamstring injury Week 12, recording six carries for 30 yards as well as two receptions for 11 yards during this lone appearance in 2022. McFarland's experience with the team should keep him in contention for a backup running back role heading into the 2023 campaign.
Jan 12, 2023 1:07 PM EST
McFarland reverted to the Steelers' practice squad Tuesday, per the NFL's transaction log.
Analysis: McFarland was elevated for the first time this season with rookie Jaylen Warren (hamstring) ruled out ahead of Monday's win against the Colts. As a result, the third-year running back played 21 offensive snaps behind Benny Snell (28) and ahead of Najee Harris (20), who was forced out early with an abdomen injury. As a result, McFarland wound up recording six carries for 30 rushing yards and two receptions (on two targets) for 11 more yards in his 2022 debut. With the statuses of Harris and Warren now up in the air, McFarland could once again play a prominent role if these two are sidelined versus Atlanta on Sunday.
Nov 29, 2022 9:14 PM EST
McFarland rushed six times for 30 yards while securing both of his targets for 11 yards during the Steelers' 24-17 win over the Colts on Monday.
Analysis: McFarland was elevated from Pittsburgh's practice squad ahead of Monday night's matchup since Jaylen Warren (hamstring) was unavailable. The team found ways to get McFarland on the field early in the game, and he saw increased work after Najee Harris (abdomen) exited the matchup in the second quarter. McFarland played 30 percent of the Steelers' offensive snaps but isn't guaranteed to be on the active roster if Harris and Warren are healthy going forward.
Nov 29, 2022 9:44 AM EST
McFarland was elevated from the team's practice squad Monday.
Analysis: McFarland will get a chance with the active roster Monday against the Colts with Jaylen Warren (hamstring) out. The former has been on the team's practice squad since Sept. 1 and he has yet to play a game this season. With Najee Harris handling the vast majority of snaps at running back, and Benny Snell ahead of McFarland on the team's positional depth chart, it's unclear how big of a role he may have.
Nov 28, 2022 1:50 PM EST
The Steelers signed McFarland to the practice squad Wednesday, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.
Analysis: McFarland lost out on a roster spot to undrafted free agent Jaylen Warren, though he'll now re-join the team as roster depth. McFarland managed only three rushes for three yards during the 2021 season while with Pittsburgh.
Sep 1, 2022 5:36 PM EST
The Steelers are waiving McFarland, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The 2020 fourth-round pick didn't play much his first two seasons and now seems to have fallen behind both Benny Snell and Jaylen Warren. It's possible McFarland sticks around on Pittsburgh's practice squad if he isn't claimed on waivers.
Aug 30, 2022 11:50 AM EST
McFarland is still competing for a spot on the 53-man roster ahead of the Steelers' preseason finale against the Lions on Sunday, Chris Adamski of TribLive.com reports.
Analysis: While Najee Harris is established as Pittsburgh's clear lead running back heading into 2022, McFarland has been competing with Benny Snell and Jaylen Warren for a spot on the 53-man roster during training camp and the preseason. McFarland made a strong impact in the Steelers' preseason opener, rushing seven times for 56 yards. However, he was held in check last weekend against the Jaguars, rushing twice for one yard while securing his lone target for seven yards. McFarland also has talent as a kick returner, which could give him an edge during the final competition for a roster spot.
Aug 27, 2022 8:57 AM EST
McFarland rushed seven times for 56 yards during the Steelers' 32-25 preseason win over the Seahawks on Saturday.
Analysis: McFarland made some big plays early in training camp and drew the start during Saturday's preseason opener since Najee Harris and Benny Snell (knee) didn't take the field. McFarland was on the field for 25 percent of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps and led the team in rushing yards while also returning kicks. Snell, McFarland and Jaylen Warren are competing for backfield work behind Harris ahead of the regular season.
Aug 14, 2022 6:34 PM EST
McFarland made a pair of big plays during Thursday's practice session, Chris Adamski of TribLive.com reports.
Analysis: McFarland was a fourth-round pick by the Steelers in 2020, but he's on the roster bubble ahead of the 2022 season. The 23-year-old has had minimal work over his first two professional seasons, rushing 36 times for 116 yards while securing seven of 10 targets for 65 yards. However, he broke off a 70-yard touchdown run during Thursday's practice session before making a contested catch along the sideline later in the day. McFarland is competing with Benny Snell and Mataeo Durant to serve as backfield depth for the Steelers ahead of the regular season. Even if McFarland wins a roster spot, he's unlikely to be a significant fantasy contributor as long as Najee Harris (foot) is healthy.
Aug 4, 2022 4:14 PM EST
McFarland (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game at Baltimore, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
Analysis: McFarland was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday but won't be active for the final game of the regular season. The 22-year-old has appeared in only two games this season and has three carries for three yards and one catch for 11 yards.
Jan 9, 2022 9:19 AM EST
The Steelers activated McFarland (undisclosed) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.
Analysis: McFarland was forced to miss the last two games after being placed on the COVID-19 list, but he'll now be able to return to practice. The 22-year-old should continue to see minimal work out of Pittsburgh's backfield in Sunday's Week 18 matchup against the Ravens.
Jan 5, 2022 9:29 AM EST
The Steelers placed McFarland (undisclosed) on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.
Analysis: McFarland hasn't taken the field in any of the last three games. It's not yet clear whether the 22-year-old has tested positive for COVID-19, but his status for Sunday's game against Kansas City shouldn't significantly impact Pittsburgh's offensive plans.
Dec 23, 2021 9:25 AM EST
McFarland is inactive for Thursday night's game against the Vikings.
Analysis: McFarland remains the odd man out of the Steelers' backfield in Week 14, with Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage in line to continue to serve as the team's backup options behind top back Najee Harris.
Dec 9, 2021 4:00 PM EST
McFarland (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against Baltimore, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: McFarland has bounced between the team's third and fourth running back since being activated from injured reserve in late October. Kalen Ballage will serve as the team's third back behind Najee Harris and Benny Snell with McFarland inactive.
Dec 5, 2021 12:17 PM EST
McFarland recorded two carries for two yards while securing his lone target for 11 yards in Sunday's 41-10 loss to the Bengals.
Analysis: McFarland's 11 offensive snaps ranked second among the Steelers' running backs in Sunday's blowout loss, but he failed to make much of an impact. The 22-year-old's fantasy value as a backup for Pittsburgh remains limited behind lead back Najee Harris.
Nov 29, 2021 6:56 AM EST
McFarland (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Chargers, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.
Analysis: McFarland has played just five offensive snaps this season, and he won't dress for Sunday night's matchup. Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage will continue to serve as the backup options behind lead back Najee Harris.
Nov 21, 2021 4:14 PM EST
McFarland has been ruled inactive for Monday's matchup with the Bears due to a coach's decision.
Analysis: McFarland made his season debut last week and saw just one carry for one yard. With Najee Harris, Kalen Ballage and Benny Snell all healthy, he will be the odd man out this week in the backfield.
Nov 8, 2021 4:07 PM EST
McFarland rushed once for one yard in Sunday's 15-10 win over the Browns.
Analysis: McFarland made his season debut after missing the first six games with a knee injury, but he was on the field for just seven offensive snaps. Although he saw slightly more playing time than Kalen Ballage and Benny Snell, he has limited fantasy upside behind lead back Najee Harris.
Nov 1, 2021 7:58 AM EST
The Steelers activated McFarland (knee) off injured reserve Wednesday.
Analysis: As expected, McFarland has been added to the 53-man roster and will likely be active for Sunday's matchup with the Browns. However, the 22-year-old running back isn't expected to see much playing time, as rookie first-round pick Najee Harris has been a three-down workhorse for Pittsburgh throughout the 2021 campaign.
Oct 27, 2021 8:27 AM EST
Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he anticipates having McFarland back from injured reserve for the Steelers' Week 8 game in Cleveland, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: According to Pryor, McFarland revealed Oct. 15 that the unspecified issue that has kept him on injured reserve all season is a torn MCL, an injury that occurred in practice and was an aggravation of the one he initially sustained in college at Maryland. McFarland said that he feels good since returning to practice Oct. 6, and Tomlin added Tuesday that the Steelers will see how much work the running back is able to do this week before determining if he'll be active Sunday in Cleveland. Even if he suits up this weekend, McFarland isn't expected to have much of a role behind rookie first-round pick Najee Harris, who has been a three-down workhorse for Pittsburgh throughout the season.
Oct 26, 2021 9:24 AM EST
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