Injured Steelers inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III returned to practice on Wednesday, his first step in returning from a back injury that has had him on the injured reserve list since Nov. 4
Gilbert, a second-year linebacker out of Akron, had his rookie season cut short after seven games due to a back injury and was once again injured this season after playing in just two games.
He remains on the injured reserve list at this time. Once he begins practicing, the Steelers have three weeks to make a determination on whether they will activate him from the IR or if he will have to spend the rest of the season on the list.
The Steelers’ depth at inside linebacker has been hit hard his season. In addition to Gilbert, starter Devin Bush has been lost to the season to an ACL injury and backup Robert Spillane is expected to miss time after a knee injury suffered against Washington on Monday.
Avery Williamson replaced Spillane — who had replaced Bush — alongside Vince Williams on Monday. Converted safety Marcus Allen is the only other inside linebacker on Pittsburgh’s active roster. Second-year pro Tegray Scales is on the practice squad.
Gilbert was the Steelers’ sixth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has six career tackles in nines game played, with a total of 14 snaps on defense and 178 on special teams.