It has been a frustrating training camp for fans hoping to see Bud Dupree make a big step forward in year two. He’s been held out of most of camp with a groin issue. And he’s compounded the problem by trying to take little steps and return to the practice field too soon.
That’s what ESPN’s beat reporter Jeremy Fowler reported a little while ago.
“I keep trying to go out there too quickly,” Dupree told Fowler.
He practiced the first four days of camp and then showed up on day five in shorts. That continued until day nine of camp when he returned in full pads but, according to my notes, was very limited. He received partial work on Day Ten but then missed the final three practices at Latrobe. I imagine that’s the time frame he’s referring to of getting onto the field too quickly.
He is reportedly suffering from a bruised groin and has no definitive timetable for his return. Mike Tomlin said earlier today that all healthy players would play in this tune-up game against the New Orleans Saints though if Dupree can’t get a full practice in by Wednesday, it’s extremely unlikely he will play.
With training camp over and teams not required to issue injury reports, it may be difficult to discern Dupree’s progression these next two days.
Starters typically don’t play in the final game but given all the time Dupree has missed, and the need to receive reps, he can hopefully see some action in the final game against the Carolina Panthers, even if it’s just two or three series.
The Steelers’ outside linebacker group is under the microscope after an underwhelming 2015 season. Dupree is the one player who could be reasonably expected to have a breakout season but his initial steps to that path have gone off course.
This group registered just 15 sacks a year ago and the coaching staff has repeated its desire to be able to win with a four man pass rush.