We’ll likely have to wait until Saturday to find out for sure if Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree will make his 2016 debut Sunday against the Cleveland Browns as defensive coordinator Keith Butler wasn’t ready to say one way or another during his Thursday session with the media.
“He did some stuff today and he looked good doing it,” said Butler of Dupree, who has been on the team’s Reserve/Injured list all season because of a core muscle injury in his abdominal area. “That’s not up to me, it’s up to the head man. The head man always decides on those types of injuries and when they come back and stuff like that, so I’ll leave that up to him.”
Butler was later asked what he expects out of player like Dupree due to all the time he’s missed so far this season.
“Well, there’s a double whammy here now. This is his second year in the league, this is not his fifth year or sixth year in the league where he can come back and automatically know everything that’s going on,” Butler said. So, he’s still in a learning situation and he’s still trying to get back healthy. So, we’ll have to see as we go with him.”
Judging by Butler’s comments, should Dupree indeed wind up making his 2016 debut against the Browns, he isn’t likely to get many defensive snaps. That makes sense as he missed nearly all of training camp this year in addition to all four preseason games due to his injury.
Dupree will obviously be used more and more as the regular season progresses and that figures to include him being used in some sort of rotation with the other outside linebackers on the roster. Regardless, Butler’s not worried right now about how Dupree will figure into such a rotation.
“No, I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” said Butler. “I’m not worried about it right now. I’m more worried about trying to win a football game. I understand everybody’s interested in Bud coming back as I am, but at the same time, we’ve got to work with the guys who are going to play on Sunday and try to win a football game.”