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CB Mark Gilbert poached from Steelers practice squad by the Detroit Lions

The 2021 UDFA was signed to the Lions 53-man roster on Tuesday.

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Steelers at Panthers Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a member of the practice squad on Tuesday as cornerback Mark Gilbert was signed by the Detroit Lions. This per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gilbert went undrafted in 2021 out of Duke and sign=ed with the Steelers immediately following the NFL draft. Appearing in all four of the Steelers preseason games, Gilbert played 82 snaps and had four tackles and two passes defensed. Although Gilbert did not make the Steelers 53-man roster, he was signed the next day to the practice squad.

There are actually three stories to Gilbert’s college career. His overall stats had him with 65 total tackles, 5.0 of which were for loss, seven interceptions and 17 passes defensed. Most of his statistics came in the 13 games of his sophomore season, which covered more than half of his 23 total games with the Blue Devils. During his sophomore season in 2017, Gilbert had 35 tackles with 3.0 being for loss, six interceptions, and 15 passes defensed. Unfortunately, Gilbert only made it two games into his junior year before suffering a hip injury which cost him the remainder of 2018 and all of the 2019 season. After a foot injury two games into 2020, Gilbert opted out of the season to prepare for the NFL.

Gilbert was an interesting prospect for the Steelers as he had very high potential coming out of college before his two major injuries. Unfortunately, Gilbert now becomes the prospect of the Detroit Lions.

Gilbert was not the only player with ties to the Steelers to find a new team on Tuesday. Released on Saturday to make room on the active roster for wide receiver Cody White, Rashaad Coward has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This per Aaron Wilson.

Coward signed with the Steelers this offseason after spending the previous four seasons with the Chicago Bears. A nose tackle at Old Dominion, Coward transitioned to the offensive line in the NFL. Coward was originally released when the Steelers cut down to the 53-man roster, but was re-signed the two days later when the Steelers made their moves to put players on the Reserve/Injured List. Inactive for the first four games of 2021, Coward had been ruled out of Sunday’s game with an ankle injury prior to his release.

With Mark Gilbert now in Detroit, and no possibility of the Steelers bringing back Rashaad Coward in any capacity, the Steelers currently have two vacant spots out of the 16 players allowed by the NFL on the practice squad. With the Steelers taking the field on Wednesday in preparation to face the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday night at Heinz Field, look for the Steelers to fill these two open positions as quickly as possible.

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