Brother of Steelers Lineman Rejoins Buccaneers; Ex-Steelers TE Promoted

Kevin Rader Steelers

Jason Miller/Getty Images Kevin Rader of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackles D'Ernest Johnson of the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 3, 2021.

September 22 was a good day for former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Khalil Davis, who is back in the league for the first time since the Steelers waived him late last month. On Thursday he was signed to the practice squad of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team that made him a sixth-round draft pick in 2020.

Khalil Davis, 26, spent his rookie year with the Buccaneers, appearing in two regular-season games and two postseason games en route to winning a Super Bowl alongside Tom Brady. In 2021 he played in one game for Indianapolis before the Colts waived him, opening the door for him to join the Steelers practice squad and practice alongside his twin brother Carlos, who remains a part of Pittsburgh’s 16-man practice squad.

Khalil went on to sign a reserve/futures contract with the Steelers in early 2022, but was waived in late August when Pittsburgh settled on its initial 53-man roster. In recent weeks, he has had tryouts with several teams, including the Browns and the Bucs.

Ex-Steelers TE Kevin Rader Signs to Tennessee’s 53-Man Roster

Meanwhile, on Thursday the Tennessee Titans promoted former Steelers tight end Kevin Rader from its practice squad to its 53-man roster.

Rader originally joined the Titans earlier this month, just days after bringing him to Nashville for a workout. He had been with the Steelers — off and on — since 2019, spending most of his time on the practice squad but also appearing in seven games, seeing the vast majority of his action on special teams.

This summer 2022 sixth-round pick Connor Heyward took his job (as Pittsburgh’s third-string tight end), leaving him with no future with the organization.

Rader has been in the NFL since 2018, when he signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Youngstown State. The most memorable moment of his college career came in 2016, during the FCS Championship Semifinal between Youngstown State and Eastern Washington, when he made a one-handed, behind-the-back catch to secure a 40-38 walk-off win for the Penguins.

Meanwhile, in other news from Nashville, former Steelers linebackers Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi have both been ruled out of Tennessee’s upcoming game against the Raiders. Dupree suffered a hip injury against the Bills on Monday Night Football while Adeniyi is dealing with a neck injury suffered in the same game.

Ex-Steelers CB Mark Gilbert Has Tryout With Eagles

In one other bit of transactional news from Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles worked out former Steelers cornerback Mark Gilbert, this according to the NFL’s daily personnel notice.

The Steelers first inked Gilbert on May 7, 2021, and the former undrafted free agent (Duke) started last season on the practice squad, where he remained until Detroit signed him to its 53-man roster in mid-October. He went on play in eight games for the Lions and made the biggest play of his young career against Pittsburgh, forcing a Diontae Johnson fumble during overtime of the Detroit-Pittsburgh game last November, which helped the then-winless Lions preserve a 16-16 tie.

Gilbert returned to the Steelers on September 1, 2022, but was waived earlier this week when the Steelers returned wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson to the practice squad after a weeklong hiatus.

Gilbert is the cousin of former four-time first-team All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and the nephew of former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert, the latter of whom was the No. 3 overall pick in the 1992 NFL draft.

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