The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without one of their best defenders in 2020, but here’s why Bud Dupree isn’t returning to the team.
The Steelers may have defeated the Ravens on Wednesday afternoon, but advancing to 11-0 on the season feels like anything but a win – especially considering the circumstances. Mike Tomlin’s team struggled mightily on offense and special teams. As a result, they squeaked past the league’s most decimated roster in a narrow 19-14 win.
However, the biggest takeaway from the game is that Bud Dupree will be out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. It was exciting to see Dupree’s career blossom throughout his five seasons in Pittsburgh, and I wish him a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, when he does return to the field, it won’t be in black and yellow. Here are three reasons why Bud Dupree has played his final snaps with the Steelers:
Health is now a factor
There is a more obvious and glaring reason why Bud Dupree will not return to the Steelers, and I will expand on that in a bit. However, we can now add health concerns to the list of reasons why the edge defender will be seeking employment on a different team next year. Despite his dominant run in the first ten-and-a-half games this season before going down with a knee injury, some of his accomplishments in 2020 will now be overshadowed by his pending health heading into next season.
While tearing an ACL doesn’t necessarily mean that Dupree is going to be an injury-prone player moving forward, the timeliness of his injury was not ideal. Had this happened much earlier in the season (like Devin Bush’s knee injury), Dupree would have plenty of time to rehab from one of the most serious ligament tears a player can recover from. However, he is looking at a 6-9 month recovery period – meaning that he could end up missing training camp time next offseason. This is an injury that you certainly don’t want to rush someone back to the field with, and Dupree may not be in football shape heading into the 2021 season, for what it’s worth.