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Steelers Bring Back Promising CB Mark Gilbert, Replacing OT Ryan McCollum On The 16-Man Practice Squad

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Bring Back Promising CB Mark Gilbert, Replacing OT Ryan McCollum On The 16-Man Practice Squad

The Pittsburgh Steelers have brought back cornerback, Mark Gilbert, adding him to the team’s 16-man practice squad. Offensive tackle, Ryan McCollum was released as the corresponding move. This marks Gilbert’s third tenure with the team.

Steelers cornerback Mark Gilbert

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

The Steelers originally signed Gilbert as an undrafted free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft, a guy they really liked coming out of Duke. He was eventually cut, but then the team brought him back at the beginning of this September. Just over a week ago, he was cut again to make room for wide receiver, Jaquarii Roberson. Now, he’s back again.

This move was likely made due to the ongoing issues in the Steelers’ secondary. Ahkello Witherspoon is a big question mark for this weekend’s Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets. The starting corner suffered a hamstring injury in the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns and was unable to return. Witherspoon didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday, so his practice availability on Friday will be a telling sign if he’s made any progress.

Head coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t completely shut the door on him playing against the Jets though. The team has dealt with injuries for a few months at the corner position, as Levi Wallace suffered a minor ankle injury early in the season. Cam Sutton picked up an injury in training camp as well, but he didn’t miss any significant time.

Steelers CB Akhello Witherspoon

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

Gilbert is unlikely to be elevated to the 53-man roster, even if Witherspoon is out, but this seems to just be a precautionary signing. With the NFL upgrading practice squad sizes to 16 players this year, it allows teams the flexibility to do just this. It should be noted that the Steelers do have two other corners on the practice squad in Quincy Wilson and former second-rounder, Josh Jackson.

 

How beneficial is it for teams to have 16 players on their practice squad this year? Will Gilbert be elevated if Witherspoon is unable to go on Sunday? Share your predictions and thoughts in the comment section below, as well as on our social media sites!

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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!

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