The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Once again…is Bud Dupree going to play today, and if so, will he be effective?
This was the same question that we had entering last week’s season opener against the Browns, but evidently we are still not all the way home with Bud Dupree just yet. We are much closer than we were last week, on paper, but we need to see him on the field.
Leading into last week’s game, Dupree never participated in practice on more than a limited basis, and did not participate at all in the final practice of the week. He was officially listed as questionable, but did not dress.
This week, he was limited for the first two days of practice, but did participate fully on Friday, and is not listed as having a game status. Presumably, that indicates that the plan is for him to play, but they could still decide to rest him.
Not to get into conspiracies, but Dupree Tweeted last night, “I love this game and all the risk that come with it! We never choose to get hurt but we all pray we overcome them!”. Different people will choose to interpret this in different ways, but I’m going to refrain from doing so here.
Obviously, we know that he is injured, to some extent. He told reporters last week that he injured his shoulder early in camp, and he got a second opinion leading into the first game that indicated it was a little more than they thought.
So should he play today, he will be doing so at less than 100 percent. He hasn’t gotten a lot of work all summer, spending a lot of time in and out of the practice lineup because of the shoulder, so we haven’t seen all that much of him.
Last week, Anthony Chickillo started in his absence and held his own, registering two sacks and six tackles. He will no doubt see nearly all the snaps again if Dupree sits, but even if he does play, it would not be surprising if Chickillo continues to see a good amount of snaps, or perhaps even start until the latter is fully up and running.