The Steelers’ defense just can’t stay healthy this year. Just a single hour after steelers.com reporter Missi Matthews tweeted out Bud Dupree’s potential availability for Sunday’s game, star defensive end Cam Heyward tweeted that his season was over.
Dupree has yet to make his sophomore debut this season after suffering a hip injury in training camp. Although he will be a welcome sight to see in the starting lineup, fans should temper their expectations. Drafted out of the University of Kentucky, Dupree is an athletic freak, but incredibly raw. Although his rookie season started off well with 4 sacks, he fell off dramatically in the second half of the year. With his injury forcing him to miss a half season’s worth of practice time and game experience, it is unlikely that Dupree will suddenly become a pass rushing connoisseur for this team.
Coach Tomlin said there is a possibility for OLB Bud Dupree to play in Cleveland. He has one week of practice under his belt.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) November 15, 2016
Although the return of Bud Dupree is indeed a good thing, the injury to Cam Heyward, on the other hand, is not. According to the team, Heyward tore his pectoral in the game against the Cowboys and will be out for the rest of the season. The loss of Heyward, who has been far and away the Steeler’s best pass rusher over the past 2 years, is absolutely devastating to a defense whose struggles to get to the quarterback have been well documented. Heyward will be replaced by a combination of rookie Javon Hargrave, Daniel McCullers, and Ricardo Mathews, with McCullers coming in only when Hargrave kicks out to end in the base defense.
I would like to thank everyone who has been in my corner this season. It pains me to say that I will not get to continue playing this season. My role will change as I can not play but it will not change the goals the team has set out. My support for this team will only grow and I look forward in watching this team grow and fight on. Hate being on the sideline but there is a greater plan taking place. My patience will be tested but I look forward to 2017. My hand will remain in the pile no matter what!