The regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the real work is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they wade through a regular season in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Question: Will Bud Dupree be activated by tomorrow?
Today’s question is a pretty simple one, and one that we’ll have an answer to by the evening of either today or tomorrow. Will the Steelers activate second-year outside linebacker Bud Dupree from the injured reserve list by Sunday? If they do, it would imply that he is going to be active for the team’s next game, and thus likely to play.
Just this past week, Pittsburgh already got one of their other players back from injury when Ladarius Green made his Steelers debut. After spending the first nine weeks on the Physically Unable to Perform List, including the bye week, he was activated on Saturday and played on Sunday, logging 12 snaps and three catches for 30 yards.
His impact was not enormous, but he did contribute and set the foundation for greater contributions on an ascending scale down the stretch. That is, ideally, what we are looking to see out of Dupree on Sunday, provided that he is activated and plays in the game. He doesn’t need to log extensive time, he just needs to show some sort of impact that he can build upon.
Dupree did tell reporters that he is pretty much where he is expected to be right now from a conditioning standpoint, and has been on his agility drills and things of that nature for a while. Unlike Green, whose ankle injury prevented him from doing much athletically, Dupree had greater freedom to work out.
Keith Butler told Mike Prisuta that Dupree looked good in practice yesterday working with the first-team defense for some reps, but deferred to Mike Tomlin as the decision-maker regarding whether or not he will be activated. He also said he has to work with the guys who are going to play on Sunday, whatever that means.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the Steelers’ outside linebacker rotation once Dupree comes back, which now seems an inevitability, if not this week, then likely next week. They have already begun making some adjustments, but that will continue to be in play after they add a fifth player.