Bad news for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reports that Bud Dupree has been placed on injured reserve. He tried to return too early, he admitted, from a groin injury and now surgery is needed for a core muscle tear. Rappaport said Dupree can come back midseason if everything goes well.
#Steelers LB Bud Dupree had surgery to fix a core muscle tear, source said. A return midsession (IR/to return) is possible if it goes well
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2016
Dupree had lost 20 pounds and was looking to become the type of explosive pass rusher the Steelers had in mind when they drafted him in the first round last year.
Luck has not been on Pittsburgh’s side this month when it comes to the health of its first-round picks.
Corner Artie Burns, this year’s top pick, missed significant time in training camp and all but the final preseason game with a thigh injury.
Contributions for those two will be necessary if the Steelers defense is going to become Steeler-like again. The team has been carried by its offense since many of the defensive players that led them to two championships in three seasons have aged.
The offense is dynamic, and it could be argued a trendsetter with more offenses abandoning West Coast offenses and stretching the field more. If the Steelers can combine their new found scoring ability with a defense that looks more like those that have come before it, they will be a championship contender.