Gilbert is an undrafted rookie out of Duke. At 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, he fits the mold of the taller, longer cornerback that teams seem to covet these days. He also has good NFL speed, recording a 4.48 at the NFL Combine this year.
In college, though, Gilbert’s promising career was marred by injuries. A serious hip injury in 2018 caused him to miss all but two games that season and the entirety of the 2019 season following surgery. It was his previous season, 2017, that really shows the potential of the young corner’s career. He tallied an impressive six interceptions and 21(!) passes defended as Duke’s starter for all 13 games. That year, he earned first-team All-ACC honors.
Gilbert displayed some of those ball skills in the preseason, notching two passes defended for the Steelers this summer. However, he has not been elevated from the practice squad during the regular season.
Gilbert is the third player the Lions have poached from a practice squad in the last couple of weeks. They signed linebacker Josh Woods from the Bears’ practice squad after they had decided to move on from Jamie Collins Sr. And last week, they signed center Ryan McCullum from the Houston Texans’ practice squad after Frank Ragnow suffered an injury against the Bears that we have since learned is a season-ending injury.
The Lions have not made this move official nor announced a corresponding move, but they are expected to put wide receiver Quintez Cephus on injured reserve shortly after the second-year pass-catcher suffered a broken collarbone on Sunday against the Vikings.