Before the 2016 regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to make a decision. Their second year, former first round pick, Bud Dupree had a groin injury which wasn't healing properly. They gave it time, but in football time doesn't heal all wounds.
Dupree would require surgery to repair a sports hernia, and the Steelers placed him on injured reserve. As medical experts, and the organization, spoke about a return in 2016, fans were excited for him to return as soon as possible. Being placed in injured reserve means you have to sit out at least 8 weeks before you can be placed back on the active roster, and that designation can only be given to one player.
Again, most expected Dupree to return for the second half of the season, but after the team's huge win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4, Dupree spoke to the media and was signing a different tune.
"The time frame depends on how your body works," Dupree told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's different for everyone. I had surgery on both sides. I can walk around and move in every-day life now. My first two weeks after surgery I couldn't move like that, especially the first week I had to have people with me all the time. Now I can depend on myself."
So, since he is just getting back to where he can walk on his own, when, or if, can fans expect to see him rushing the quarterback again?
"I hope (to return)," Dupree said. "I know I'm working hard. I'm trying to get back as soon as I can without putting myself at risk and being out longer."
So, what is Dupree doing to get himself back? As much as he can, but it isn't much at this point. "The most I do now is walk a mile then do the treadmill, then the elliptical (machine)," he said. "That's to keep my stamina up."
With Dupree's 2016 season up in the air, it will be up to Keith Butler and a rag-tag group of outside linebackers to get the job done. Arthur Moats will likely step up as the starter, with Anthony Chickillo and Jarvis Jones also filling in as necessary, but there were a lot of expectations riding on Dupree's shoulders heading into this season. Maybe, just maybe, he will be able to get himself back on the field, but after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia, you have to question just how effective he would be on the field.