Bud Dupree questionably questionable

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Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (34) rushes the ball against Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (34) rushes the ball against Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have survived the preseason as one of the healthier teams this year. However, in a bit of a surprise, Bud Dupree has not been practicing and was listed as questionable on the teams injury report.

The injury report says that Dupree is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he has told others that it is an ankle ailment as well. Dupree has practiced minimally in training camp, and only saw snaps in the teams third preseason game. All of the sudden the third year outside linebackers season opener could be in question.

This is not the first time a mysterious ailment wound up causing Dupree to miss time. While the team was quiet about it, Dupree sat out the entire preseason in 2016. The team did not say anything until it was official, but they wound up putting Dupree on the IR with the designation to return.

Dupree returned that season and looked good, but this is not the path the teams wants to keep going with Dupree.

Dupree haw vowed to play, so hopefully the team is just being overly pre cautious at this point. However, this could be something worth worrying about. His minimal playing time in the preseason combined with the ambiguity of what exactly he is sitting out with has to raise eyebrows.

If the Steelers wind up missing him it could be a big drop. James Harrison backs up T.J. Watt and the team would likely rely on Anthony Chickillo for the majority of the snaps opposite of those two. Chickillo is a special teams asset who can get a few snaps here and there. As a starter he is not quite on the level that Dupree can reach. For example, Chickillo had 2.5 sacks in a healthy 2016, while Dupree had 4.5 in seven games. Only time will tell, but his status and potential play on gamed should become a must-watch.

 

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