Steelers trade for veteran running back

August 23, 2013
FILE - In these 2013 file photos, Pittsburgh Steelers' Adrian Robinson, left, and Philadelphia Eagles' Felix Jones are shown. The Steelers have bolstered their injury-plagued backfield, acquiring running back Felix Jones from Philadelphia for linebacker Adrian Robinson.The deal, announced Friday, Aug., 23, 2013, requires both players to pass a physical. (AP Photo/File)

With rookie Le’Veon Bell sidelined for the time being and a number of other running backs suffering through bumps and bruises, the Steelers made a trade Friday with Philadelphia to acquire veteran Felix Jones.

In exchange, Philadelphia received second-year reserve linebacker Adrian Robinson.

Jones, a five-year veteran, played four seasons in Dallas, which selected him in the first round of the 2008 draft, one spot before the Steelers selected Rashard Mendenhall.

Jones is expected to provide depth to a running back group that has been banged up throughout the preseason. In addition to Bell, who is out indefinitely with a sprained right foot, Isaac Redman has missed time with a shoulder injury, and LaRod Stephens-Howling missed the second preseason game with a sprained knee.

Redman, who is listed as a co-starter with Bell, and Jonathan Dwyer will share time with the starters in tonight’s preseason game against Kansas City at Heinz Field.

In the 26-year-old Jones, the Steelers get a speedy running back who never quite lived up to expectations in Dallas.

His best season came in 2010, when he rushed for 800 yards and one touchdown, with 45 receptions for 450 yards. Last year, Jones (5-10, 215) gained 402 yards and scored three touchdowns on 111 carries, and caught 25 passes for 262 yards and two scores.

Also a kick returner, he’s averaged 23.9 yards on 64 career returns, scoring one touchdown.

Jones was signed as a free agent to a one-year deal by the Eagles,but was buried on the depth chart behind starter LeSean McCoy and backups Bryce Brown and Chris Polk.

Robinson, 23, was active in 12 games for the Steelers last year after winning a spot on the roster as an undrafted rookie out of Temple. Despite seeing action on special teams, Robinson failed to record a tackle.

With the addition of first-round draft pick Jarvis Jones, Robinson was battling with Chris Carter and rookie Alan Baxter for a roster spot.

Dale Lolley has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1993 after previously working at WJAC-TV and the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, and The Derrick in Oil City. A native of Fryburg, Pa., he is a graduate of North Clarion High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he earned a degree in journalism. He has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers since joining the Observer-Reporter in 1993, and also serves as the outdoors editor. He also is a radio host for Pittsburgh’s ESPN 970-AM, and serves as administrative adviser for the Red & Black, Washington & Jefferson College’s student newspaper.

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