Updated: Dec 3, 2020
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Mike Garafolo and Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network reported last night that initial tests showed an ACL tear for Bud Dupree, an injury that he suffered late in the fourth quarter in the Steelers' 19-14 win against the Baltimore Ravens. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed that report this morning that Dupree is done for the season with a torn ACL following his MRI. It was a routine play with Dupree coming off the edge rushing the quarterback and his right knee just gave out on him.
Dupree, 27, played on the franchise tag this year and is set to be a free agent in 2021. Dupree is the second starter on defense to suffer a season-ending injury this year. Inside linebacker Devin Bush also had an ACL tear against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.
Both are huge losses and the Steelers will have to find a way to supplement Dupree's presence on the edge, which won't be an easy task. Robert Spillane has filled in admirably for Bush and the Steelers went out and traded with the Jets for inside linebacker Avery Williamson to give the position more depth. After a month with the team, Williamson is starting to see more snaps on defense.
Rookie third-round pick Alex Highsmith will have to step up in the absence of Dupree, along with Ola Adeniyi. The Steelers could potentially pick up a player on the open market, but there might not be anything there suitable.
Dupree finished the year with 31 tackles, eight sacks, eight tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hits, two passes defensed and two forced fumbles.