PITTSBURGH — Pierre Strong will get his first taste of regular-season NFL action Sunday in the Steel City.
After sitting out the Patriots’ season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins, the fourth-round rookie is active for New England’s Week 2 matchup with the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium.
Strong will provide backfield depth behind Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson with third-down back Ty Montgomery landing on injured reserve this week. It’s unclear whether the speedy South Dakota State product will take on any of Montgomery’s passing-game responsibilities or be limited to special teams duty.
While Strong debuts, another of New England’s 2022 draft picks will watch Sunday’s game from the sideline. Third-round cornerback Marcus Jones is a healthy scratch after playing just four defensive snaps in Week 1.
Replacing Jones on the gameday roster will be second-year pro Shaun Wade, who did not play against Miami. The 6-foot-1 Wade is five inches taller than Jones, which could be an asset against Pittsburgh’s collection of bigger receivers.
Third-year linebacker Anfernee Jennings also draws back into the lineup after being a surprise healthy inactive in Week 1.
Safety Adrian Phillips, left tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Raekwon McMillan all are active for New England after being listed as questionable with injuries.
Here is the Patriots’ full inactive list:
CB Marcus Jones
S Joshuah Bledsoe
QB Bailey Zappe
DL Sam Roberts
OL Chasen Hines
Bledsoe was ruled out Saturday with a groin injury.
The Patriots are looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since the 2001 season. Pittsburgh sits at 1-0 after beating the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime in Week 1.