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Bucs Elevate Ulysees Gilbert, Ryan Smith for Munich Game

The Buccaneers used their two practice squad elevation options in Week 10 to round out the inside linebacker position and add a strong special teams player to the mix

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought their practice squad players with them to Munich, and two of them will now get a chance to play in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena.

On Saturday, the Buccaneers activated fourth-year inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert and seventh-year cornerback from the practice squad, making them eligible to suit up against the Seahawks. Gilbert's elevation gives the team its usual complement of four active inside linebackers on game day, after rookie J.J. Russell was left back in Tampa due to a hamstring injury. Smith adds a proven producer on special teams to the mix.

Prior to the 2020 season, the NFL introduced the elevation option, which allows teams to activate up to two players from their practice squad for each game. Each player on the practice squad can be elevated up to three times during the regular season and an unlimited amount of times in the postseason. After the game, elevated players automatically revert to the practice squad without having to pass through waivers.

The Buccaneers originally signed Gilbert to their practice squad on October 11. He had gone to training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being released in late August. A sixth-round pick by the Steelers in the 2019 draft, Gilbert (6-0, 230) spent time on injured reserve in each of his first two seasons but got into all 17 games for Pittsburgh last year and contributed 15 tackles. He helped the Steelers upset the Buffalo Bills in Week One by recovering the ball after a blocked punt and returning it nine yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Gilbert played his college ball at Akron.

Smith (5-11, 189) has returned for a second stint in Tampa after spending his first five seasons with the Buccaneers. A fourth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2016, he played in 73 games with 17 starts from 2016-20 and developed into one of the team's best special teams players. He tallied 19 kick-coverage tackles and was particularly adept at downing punts inside the five-yard line. On defense, Smith recorded 122 tackles, one interception, 12 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He signed with the Chargers as an unrestricted free agent last year but appeared in just four games with one start thanks to two separate stints on injured reserve. This season, he spent a month on the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad before being waived in October.

This is the first elevation for both Gilbert and Smith.

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