Tomlin Says Burns Might Play Against Saints, Dupree Expected To Sit


The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their third preseason game of 2016 Friday night on the road against the New Orleans Saints and during his Wednesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that rookie cornerback Artie Burns might make his NFL debut in that contest.

“Everyone that’s healthy will be available to play,” said Tomlin. “We’ll sort out the amount of playtime as we get closer to game time, but everyone’s that healthy will be participating. We’ve had a lot of guys work their way back in different forms and fashions this week. It was a big day for Artie Burns, got good significant work from him today at practice so hopefully there’s no negative consequences of that work and he can continue to move forward.”

While it’s looking good for Burns to play Friday night, the same can’t be said for last year’s first round draft pick, linebacker Bud Dupree, who has already missed the team’s first two preseason games due to groin injury.

“But some other guys, Bud [Dupree] hadn’t moved back toward readiness, he probably won’t play,” said Tomlin. “Bruce Gradkowski, [Jerald] Hawkins, [Roosevelt] Nix, [Dustin] Vaughan and Cody Wallace are guys that probably won’t, but again, we’ll leave the light on for any healthy man to give those guys an opportunity to continue to state their case in terms of being here and or division of labor within the group.”

Tomlin did not say whether or not linebackers Jarvis Jones or Anthony Chickillo will play Friday night. Jones has missed the first two games while Chickillo missed the game this past Friday with an ankle injury. Tomlin did say, however, that running back Le’Veon Bell might play against the Saints as he considers him one of the team’s healthy players. Bell sat out the first two preseason games.


  • Michael Martin

    Hope his knee doesn’t swell up again.

  • Steelers12

    Damn it Dupree

  • Tom Jackson

    Man I’m about to throw up. How is Bud still out?! This is driving me absolutely crazy, he could’ve a huge role this season for us but he can’t get on the field. The way things are looking now he won’t get a heavy snap count early on and we need him to be good this year.

  • WreckIess

    Burns put up a picture of himself making a one handed leaping catch yesterday so hopefully that quad is all healed up.

    Dupree just needs to get healthy. Like he said, he’s a fast guy who needs to be able to go fast. Rushing back again is just going to set him back again. Work on getting back for September don’t risk your season for August.

  • steelburg

    If Burns can play these last 2 preseason games that will be huge IMO. If I was Tomlin guys like Garner and Shabazz will take a back seat and Burns will play at least 2-3 full quarters of both these last 2 games. I wouldn’t mind Chickillo doing the same especially if Jarvis and Bud don’t play.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Groin injuries are not that easy to overcome as there are different stages.

    Considering he was still in limited work… probably a grade 2 groin injury.

  • Daniel

    Not his knee he has a groin injury

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Burns needs the work more than Dupree.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Knee to the groin??

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I’m so ready to see what Young Burn got!

  • I sort of disagree there. They both need the reps, but we’re counting on Dupree this year WAAAY more than we are Burns. I’m not trying to downplay the importance of Burns development, but We really need Bud to perform this season for the defense to be successful. While Burns contributing would be nice, the expectations for him this year are nowhere near as high as they are for Dupree.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Agree with you that much more is expected of Dupree in the regular season. I just think from a development point of view these preseason games more important for Burns. I want to see a near 100% Dupree wreaking havoc starting with the Redskins game.

  • The Truth

    If Dupree can’t play this pre-season then he should be on the bench during the regular season. Don’t hand him a free, unearned start like J. Jones receives each year.

  • RickM

    Totally agree. He was one of the critical players for 2016, i.e. can he get us the pass rush we need, and he’s unable to even practice. I just can’t believe how many important things have gone against us this off-season.

  • pittfan

    Let the 1’s rest. 20 snaps in preseason vs missing 1-2-3 regular season games seems like a good trade-off to me.

  • Rene Lopez

    I guess the most disappointing thing here is what are these guys doing in the off season to get hurt. For example Bud Dupree. The season ended in January, how in the world can a guy come in 6 months later injured!! its baffling. Your basically doing nothing so how are you not 100%.

  • Rene Lopez

    And why is he not healthy, the guy had 6 months off and this BS is unacceptable.

  • Rene Lopez

    No he doesnt. Dupree is a starter, Burns is not!!

  • Rene Lopez

    Ok genius lets use emotion and sit the guy because you say so, lol!!!

  • Tom Jackson

    Yes, I mean this offseason is by far the worst I can remember. Maybe apart from the Big Ben fiasco. I mean your dealing with one backbreaking story after another and your already thinking about what could’ve been although the damn season hasn’t even started yet.

    I really just wanna get the season underway by now and start talking about some good games and good performances. I’m really getting a little sick about this stuff.

  • JNick

    Unfortunately guys are not in control of the bodies healing process. I hate the dumping on players for being injured or not healing fast enough. I’m willing to be Dupree is more frustrated than you.

  • GreenSkaar

    Well he was healthy when he came back. But he got injured on the first day of training camp in pads.

  • popsiclesticks

    At least the picture suggests that they are concentrating on teaching him proper technique. That’s more than I ever saw him do at Miami, for reals. Since that was his main overarching concern, I’m hoping he’s been working on muscle memory while injured.

  • The Truth

    “lets use emotion and sit the guy because you say so”

    It’s logic, not emotion. Your post is emotional though.

    You prefer people start based on draft status, not merit. Dupree struggled last season, as most rookies do. This season he has missed most of the practices and two pre-season games and is dealing with an injury. If he doesn’t practice or play in pre-season why would you start him in the first game?

    Explain your opinion logically. You can forego your emotions.

  • popsiclesticks

    Then again if Bud has been working on everything he needs to be working on, he may not actually need the preseason games. I never played in the NFL obviously, so I just don’t really know.

  • Michael Martin

    Was talking about Burns, not Dupree.

  • Rene Lopez

    It sounded like you were saying to bench the guy overall not the 1st game. That is why i replied that way. The guy struggled the 2nd half of the year not the 1st i believe all his sacks came in the 1st few games last year icluding one on Brady the opening game.

  • Hitting the panic button already?

  • They didn’t have 6 months off, most of these guys go straight to work the end of February. You must have missed all the work posts that Harrison made and all the young LBers were with him in March and April.

  • The Truth

    Sorry for the confusion. I meant until he is ready to start.

    Yes, he played better in the beginning part of the season, but his sacks last year weren’t anything special. I believe this site broke them down. He needs to get healthy and work on his game. If he can’t the Steelers may need to draft an OLB early again.

  • Just because there is no football games doesn’t mean they are off. The fact that Dupree came in 20 lbs lighter should tell you he worked hard during the off season.

    Guys get hurt playing this brutal contact sport we all love so much, it’s plain and simple. Injuries are as much a part of this game as blocking and tackling. Guys like Timmons who never miss games don’t come around all that often.

  • David Paul

    Let me guess – you’re a school teacher.

  • WreckIess

    I didn’t realize the beginning of training camp as 6 months ago. He didn’t hurt his groin in February he injured it two weeks ago during practice. We need these guys healthy and playing from September until February. Dupree missing snaps in August isn’t going to wreck his season, but a lingering groin injury that was mismanaged in August could wreck his season.

  • Tom Jackson

    No, it just sucks and happiness went down the drain on too many offseason days. I don’t like it and don’t need the arrow constantly going down. I mean this offseason was just ridiculous.