The move comes after rookie specialist Pressley Harvin III was ruled out for Week 16 due to a personal situation.
Waitman, 26, had joined New England’s practice squad in November after visiting for a free-agent workout. He originally entered the league as part of Pittsburgh’s 2020 undrafted class and spent training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders after being waived in May.
The South Alabama product appeared in 38 games and earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors as a redshirt junior, when his 45.24 yards per punt sent a program record. Waitman’s Jaguars career spanned 158 punts for 6,750 yards. He saw 58 punts downed inside the 20-yard line and also handled kickoff and holding duties.
With his departure for the Steelers’ 53-man roster, the Patriots stand with reigning first-team All-Pro punter Jake Bailey and a practice squad of a dozen.
The Buffalo Bills travel to Gillette Stadium for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.