The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed inside linebacker Ulysses Gilbert to the active roster from their practice squad in a series of roster moves made Tuesday, six days before their playoffs kick off with a home game against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Gilbert fills the spot opened on the 53-man roster on Tuesday when cornerback Anthony Chesley was placed on injured reserve. Chesley suffered a hamstring injury late in the Buccaneers' Week 18 loss in Atlanta. Gilbert's promotion also created a spot on the 16-man practice squad, which the team filled by signing rookie cornerback Duron Lowe.
Gilbert (6-0, 230) first joined the Buccaneers on October 11, signing with the practice squad. He was elevated for game day action against the Seattle Seahawks in Week and, after the subsequent bye week, against the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints in Weeks 12 and 13. He played 64 special teams snaps over those three contests and pitched in with four kick-coverage tackles. A sixth-round draft pick by the Steelers out of Akron in 2019, Gilbert played in 28 games over three seasons in Pittsburgh, recording four stops on defense and 21 on special teams. He had 13 kick-coverage stops in 17 games for the Steelers last year.
Chesley spent the first 14 weeks of the regular season on the Buccaneers' practice squad before getting his own promotion to the active roster on December 14. He was also elevated for game day three times while on the practice squad and thus appeared in a total of seven games, primarily on special teams. He saw his first action on defense for the Buccaneers last Sunday when the team pulled almost all of its starters at halftime, finishing with two tackles. An undrafted rookie out of Coastal Carolina with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019, Chesley previously saw action in 12 games for the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts over the 2020-21 seasons.
Lowe (5-10, 184) joined the Los Angeles Rams in May as an undrafted free agent out of Liberty. He went to training camp with the Rams but was waived in the final roster cuts before the regular season and did not sign with another team before coming to Tampa. After beginning his collegiate career at Butler Community College, Lowe played two seasons at UTEP and one at Liberty. In those final three seasons he appeared in a total of 31 games and recorded 74 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He also averaged 26.6 yards on 27 kickoff returns, including two for touchdowns.