Here is a statistic no one who roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers thought they would ever read:
The Steelers are dead last in the NFL in sacks.
Yeah, times are tough for the Steelers pass rush, but help could be on the way in the form of second year outside linebacker Bud Dupree.
Dupree, who was placed on injured reserve with a sports hernia which required surgery, is eligible to return to the team at any time, and according to him, has now been medically cleared from his team of doctors.
So, when will he return?
“Right now, I’m on the spot where it’s up to me,” Dupree told Dustin Dopirak of DKPittsburghSports. “I’m past the doctor’s clearance. I can just do whatever, how my body feels. Whenever I feel like my body’s healed. He told me to wait until I’m 100 percent to go. Whenever I feel that, I’m gonna go back and practice. … I know I’m real close to being able to go out on the field. When I’m ready, I’m just going to communicate with the coaches and try to get activated.”
Great news for Dupree, the Steelers pass rush and fans everywhere. Not good news for Ryan Harris and Senquez Golson. If Dupree is eventually activated from the injured reserve list, it would end the season of Harris and Golson as the NFL mandates teams can only have one player return from injured reserve per season.
Dupree seems like the logical decision to come off the injured reserve list and help the team in the latter half of the season, and he is working his butt off to get back on the field to make plays with his teammates.
“I’m doing back-to-back-to-back days to make it sore,” Dupree said. “When that starts to level out, then I’m gonna go on the field.”
The return won’t be in Week 9 when the team travels to Baltimore to play the Ravens, but he could return as early as next week in preparation of the Dallas Cowboys to come to Heinz Field in Week 10. Although Dupree won’t be the magic elixir to fix the team’s pass rush, they could certainly use his skill on the left side of the defense in many ways.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest injury news and updates leading into Week 9.