Bud Dupree tore his ACL in Week 12 against the Baltimore Ravens. This was unfortunate news because Dupree was having a great 2020 season so far. Bud eventually ended up having season-ending surgery and the next man was called up on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The name that was called was Alex Highsmith. A rookie from a small-time school out of Charlotte. The Steelers' plan was to slowly let him get reps behind TJ Watt and Bud Dupree, but plans changed when Dupree went down with his injury. They threw Highsmith into the fire immediately and he has held up quite impressively.
Highsmith currently has 24 solo tackles, 15 assists, 1 sack, and 1 interception for his rookie season so far. Those are great numbers for not having much of a pre-season or training camp. What we have seen from Alex Highsmith's first couple of games was to be expected because he is a rookie coming into the NFL. There is a huge difference between the two, but he has developed just like the Steelers have hoped for. He played exceptional against the Colts on Sunday and although he did not get a sack he played his best game.
Alex ended the game with seven total tackles and two quarterback hits. The last play of the game showed how special he is going to be. He put a spin-move on Joe Haeg giving him a clear shot at Phillip Rivers. This forced Rivers to throw the ball downfield faster missing his wide-receiver and ending the game. That spine-move was spectacular. Cam Heyward even said Highsmith has taken steps week in and week out to improve on his game. Heyward said he knows Highsmith will not be up to the level of Bud Dupree just yet, but he will be a factor when he plays. That factor is starting to show and pay big time for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Can't wait to see more from the Rookie as the weeks come heading into the playoffs.