The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed cornerback Mark Gilbert to their practice squad and released offensive lineman Ryan McCollum, the team announced on Friday.
Gilbert is in his second stint on the team’s practice squad this season. He was signed on Sept. 1 after having spent training camp with the Detroit Lions. Gilbert was released on Sept. 20 to make room for wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson.
Gilbert’s signing comes as the Steelers are dealing with two injuries in their secondary. Free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is in the concussion protocol and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has missed the last two practices with a hamstring injury.
Gilbert initially joined the Steelers last spring as an undrafted free agent out of Duke. He was released after training camp and made the Steelers’ practice squad last year before Detroit signed him to their active roster on Oct. 12. Gilbert played in eight games for the Lions and had a key forced fumble on Diontae Johnson in the Week 10 Steelers-Lions game that ended in a 16-16 tie.
Gilbert was raised in Fayetteville, N.C., but he has Aliquippa roots. His uncle is Sean Gilbert, a Pitt alum and former Pro Bowl defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams, and his cousin is Darrelle Revis.
Gilbert played in 12 games during his freshman year at Duke, starting three of them. Gilbert then had a standout sophomore year, becoming the only player in Duke history with five or more interceptions and 15 or more passes defended in a single season.
In Week 2 of his junior year against Northwestern, Gilbert suffered a hip injury that sidelined him for the rest of the 2018 season and the entire 2019 season. Gilbert started two games in 2020 before suffering a season-ending foot injury.
The Steelers signed McCollum on Aug. 16 and released him at the end of training camp. He was re-signed to the practice squad and was not a game day elevation for any of the team’s first three games.