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Pittsburgh Steelers OLB Bud Dupree "only weeks away" from returning to practice

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The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't had much good news on the injury front, but there might be hope coming in the form of Bud Dupree returning off the injured reserve in a few weeks.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't had much good news this year in terms of injuries. With starters Ben Roethlisberger, Marcus Gilbert, Ryan Shazier, Markus Wheaton and Cameron Heyward all missing significant time this year, you can certainly understand how fans should be ready to jump at the first sign of good news.

Well, that time might be just around the corner as second year linebacker Bud Dupree, who is on injured reserve after undergoing surgery to repair two sports hernias, told reporters Friday he feels he is just a couple weeks away before returning to the practice field.

The return of Dupree couldn't come soon enough for a struggling pass rush, but his return will also mean the season is officially over for a few other players.

Dupree has to sit out 8 weeks before returning to practice, the 8 week mark will be the bye week next week, but his return would make him the player designated to return from the injured reserve list. This decision would spell the end of the 2016 season for Senquez Golson (foot) and Ryan Harris (hematoma), but could have the biggest impact on the team when he returns.

Dupree still has a lot to prove after recording just 4 sacks in 2015, but his strength, speed and athleticism will certainly do something no one else has been able to in 2016 -- draw the attention of offensive pass protection. Just having Dupree on the field should force opposing offensive lines to shift protection his way, opening up opportunities for players like James Harrison, Arthur Moats and maybe even Jarvis Jones.

A few weeks away could mean Dupree could return for the stretch run, where, once he gets into football shape, he could help the team press on to the postseason for the third straight season.