2019 Offseason Questions: Does Devin Bush’s Size Pose Durability Concerns?

The Pittsburgh Steelers well underway with the offseason workouts at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the heart of the offseason, where hope springs eternal following a few months of pretty significant changes, in terms of both departures and arrivals.

How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Will Devin Bush’s size ultimately lead to durability concerns?

As he enters the league, Devin Bush is preparing to become one of the smallest starting inside linebackers around the NFL. While he is pretty stout for his height, we know that smaller inside linebackers in the past have dealt with frequent injury issues, even if that didn’t crop up on their college resume.

The easy comparison would be to the linebacker he’s essentially replacing, which is Ryan Shazier, but that’s not a smooth cross reference. Shazier was taller and thinner than Bush, who is built with a wider base. Still, Shazier had a relatively healthy college career before having injuries every year of his career. And he would be far from the only smaller—whether in height or weight, if not both—linebacker who has had a seemingly disproportionate number of injuries.

Personally, I don’t think it’s an issue at all, but I know that it’s been an intermittently popular topic about him, including among beat writers, to speculate on the possibility, which is why I’m putting it out there now to gauge whether or not there are others who agree that it could be an issue.

Bush has spoken on a number of occasions about how he has always been told that he is too small to make it into the NFL. He’s here now, and he’s got the brand to embrace it, a clothing line that he’s dubbed UNDRSZD. Just in case anybody is wondering if he’s been subjected to this line of questioning before.

To make it clear, this is not a question about whether or not his size will become an issue for him relative to his performance of his job. This is only about whether or not it will be a cause for concern with respect to his durability and the possibility of an increased risk of suffering minor but nagging injuries. Again, I don’t think it will be, at all, but it wouldn’t surprise if me others were more concerned.

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