The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted Stillwater graduate Brian Arnfelt to their 53-player active roster on Saturday. The Steelers then defeated
division rival Cincinnati Bengals 30-20 on Sunday night in a game that was broadcast nationally on NBC.
Arnfelt, a 6-foot-4, 298-pound rookie defensive end who wears No. 69, was on the field for two plays in his NFL debut and did not record any tackles.
After spending the previous 14 weeks on Pittsburgh’s practice squad, Arnfelt was placed on the active roster following injuries to defensive end Brett Keisel and nose tackle Steve McLendon. Keisel has been sidelined by a foot injury and McLendon did not play because of an ankle injury. To make room for Arnfelt, the Steelers released linebacker Kion Wilson.
Arnfelt signed with the Steelers last spring as an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern University and enjoyed a promising training camp, but was one of the final players cut before the start of the season. After clearing waivers, he was among a group of eight players signed to the Steelers’ practice squad. In four preseason games, he made five solo tackles and eight total stops.
Arnfelt and the Steelers (6-8) are scheduled to play at the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday and close out the season by hosting the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 29. Earlier this season, he traveled with the team to London for its 34-27 loss to the Vikings on Sept. 29.
During a four-year playing career at Northwestern, Arnfelt contributed to the winningest senior class in that program’s history. He served as a captain as a senior when he racked up 25 tackles, including six for a loss, and three sacks in 13 games. He totaled 47 tackles and three sacks in 37 career games for the Wildcats.
Arnfelt graduated with a degree in communications studies and minors in business institutions and legal studies before finishing his master’s degree in sports administration at Northwestern this past summer,
While competing for the Ponies before graduating in 2008, Arnfelt helped Stillwater to its most recent state tournament appearance in football as a junior in 2006. He also competed in the shot put at the state meet as a senior.