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Steelers Host Former Buccaneers CB for Workout



Steelers CB Don Gardner
BROOKINGS, SD - NOVEMBER 16: South Dakota State CB Don Gardner against Northern Iowa - (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

The Steelers are hosting former Buccaneers cornerback Don Gardner for a tryout on Wednesday, Greg Auman of Fox Sports reports. Gardner spent all of 2022 on the Buccaneers practice squad but suffered a hamstring injury that knocked him out of training camp. The Buccaneers waived/injured him following that injury, and now he is trying to find another spot in the NFL. Gardner played in just one game last season.

Pittsburgh only has two defensive backs on the practice squad, Luq Barcoo and Trenton Thompson. Veteran defensive back Josiah Scott, who had been placed on the practice squad injured reserve list, got poached by the Eagles, who are signing him to their active roster after injuries in their secondary.

Gardner came out of South Dakota State in 2022. While with the Jackrabbits, he racked up two interceptions and 15 pass deflections over his years in Brookings. He ran a 4.48 40-yard dash and registered a 36 1/2-inch vertical jump on his pro day when coming out. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback plays with physicality and has the requisite athletic traits that teams strive to see in cornerbacks. Pittsburgh could use some outside cornerback depth on the practice squad with Barcoo as the lone player. James Pierre remains the main depth piece behind the top three outside cornerbacks on the active rosters.

The Steelers could look to reshuffle their practice squad again with some players returning from injury. With Diontae Johnson and Anthony McFarland likely to return, Pittsburgh would have to create two new spots on the active rosters that could be put aside for released players to rebound to the practice squad.

Gardner’s traits align with what the Steelers have looked for in the position in recent seasons. Now fully recovered from the hamstring injury, Gardner hopes to latch onto the Steelers practice squad after his workout on Wednesday.