6 options to replace Steelers’ Bush after ACL injury Sunday

Pittsburgh Steelers Devin Bush Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers Devin Bush Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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With the Steelers losing their starting inside linebacker to an ACL injury, here are six options who could be brought in to replace his production

When Devin Bush went to the ground holding his knees during week six, Steelers nation held their breath waiting for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it appears as though Bush is headed for season-ending IR as he has torn his ACL. This means there is a huge hole at inside linebacker, as Bush was playing 100 percent of the snaps and was in charge of communicating for the defense. While those duties will be given elsewhere, his snap counts will have to be passed to someone.

Before going into this list, it is important to note that the Steelers can and should try out one of the players currently on their roster to replace Bush. When Ryan Shazier was lost for the year, the Steelers opted to play off the street free agents instead of L.J. Fort to a disastrous end result. They shouldn’t make the same mistake this year. Robert Spillane entered the game for Bush and performed well, showing off some physicality and tackling ability. His problem is his athletic profile is similar to Vince Williams, making him a less than ideal replacement for Bush.

Marcus Allen is a converted safety who could take on the role, but it seems like he would only see sub-package snaps right now as the team opted for Spillane over him. Arguably the most likely replacement on paper would be Ulysees Gilbert, as their profiles are the most similar. That said, he has been active for one game and saw no defensive snaps. Even if the Steelers opt for a current roster player, it would make sense to bring someone off the street to get them acclimated to the Steelers defense in case of another injury or if whoever replaces Bush struggles.

Thus, the list below was compiled as a shortlist of players that make sense in this role. Note, two of these players would have to be traded for and another is on a practice squad, but none of that should stop the Steelers from seeking these players out. As well, these players are uber athletes at the position, as replacing Bush’s speed will be one of the hardest aspects of replacing him. While none of these players would be instant starters, here are the six players the Steelers need to consider bringing in to help offset Bush’s injury.