Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Sixteen days after being placed on waivers, a former Steelers receiver returns to the fold.
David Gilreath, who has played three games for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, was waived to make room for the returning David DeCastro, and the promoted John Malecki on the 26th of November. While the Steelers intentions were to get Gilreath back to the practice squad as they shuffled lineups to compensate for other injuries, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers swept in and made short work of the Steelers plans by signing Gilreath to their active roster.
On December 12th, David Gilreath returned to Pittsburgh, to the practice squad he was originally supposed to be a part of.
Tampa Bay waived Gilreath when they claimed offensive guard Hayworth Hicks off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs, on Monday. As soon as Gilreath cleared waivers, the Steelers moved quickly to re-sign him to their practice squad.
Gilreath, the former Wisconsin Badger, has also played for the Indianapolis Colts, the St. Louis Rams, and the Buffalo Bills, in addition to the Bucs and the Steelers, since signing with the Colts as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011. Hicks, a rookie out of Iowa State, has also spent time on the rosters of the Colts and the New York Jets, even though he has not played in an actual game yet this season.
To make room for Gilreath, the Steelers released WR Bert Reed from the practice squad. Reed was signed to replace Gilreath when he was signed by Tampa Bay. The Steelers also addressed other positions by adding two other players to their practice squad with Gilreath: DB Isaiah Green and WR Derek Moye. This will be Moye's second stint on the Steelers practice squad this season.
Head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the WR corps during his press conference on Tuesday, pointing out the fact that the Steelers keeping of five active receivers per gameday was an abnormality, and that he does not expect it to continue indefinitely. Perhaps, Plaxico Burress or Jerricho Cotchery are about to miss the remainder of the season; or the signing of scout team receivers is an effort to ensure depth behind Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders. Brown missed three games earlier this season to a high ankle sprain, and Sanders is currently dealing with an AC sprain [Shoulder].
Considering his actual game experience with the team this season, the chances of Gilreath seeing the field this season are more likely than Moye's. The Steelers simply consider themselves fortunate to have back a player they did not wish to lose in the first place.