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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New York Giants outside linebacker Deone Bucannon Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /

Deone Bucannon

The player that makes the most sense for the Steelers has to be Deone Bucannon. The former first-round safety made the conversion to linebacker early in his career, and while has struggled to be a complete player, he has been a decent option in coverage. While he hasn’t been anything but a reserve since 2018, he would be a great sub package option with athleticism to help soften the blow of losing Bush for the year.

Bucannon is a bit undersized for the position, but if he was only seeing snaps in dime defense, it shouldn’t be a huge deal. In essence, he would serve a similar role that Mark Barron played last year early on. While base defense would belong to someone else, Bucannon could see some play in the nickel defense. As well, he could be the sole defender on dime defense, as his coverage ability would make him the most obvious fit there.

Better yet, as a street free agent, the Steelers could add him to the practice squad right now so he can begin learning the playbook. After a week or two, he could be elevated and be put into the mix at linebacker. His speed and coverage would be his best traits, and something the Steelers may not have a replacement for on the roster right now. Bucannon has a lot of flexibility for the Steelers, and he would be well worth a spot on the practice squad right now so he can learn the defense.

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While the Steelers should consider their backups first, adding a veteran to the roster now allows for the team to begin learning the playbook in case they are needs. The goal shouldn’t be to find a starter off the streets, but instead to find a depth player who can fill in for some of Bush’s roles that the team will struggle to replace. Any of these six options would do the trick, but it is paramount that the Steelers add some sort of veteran to learn the system.