2017 South Side Questions – Game Edition: Will Bud Dupree Be Effective If He Plays?


The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Once again…is Bud Dupree going to play today, and if so, will he be effective?

This was the same question that we had entering last week’s season opener against the Browns, but evidently we are still not all the way home with Bud Dupree just yet. We are much closer than we were last week, on paper, but we need to see him on the field.


Leading into last week’s game, Dupree never participated in practice on more than a limited basis, and did not participate at all in the final practice of the week. He was officially listed as questionable, but did not dress.

This week, he was limited for the first two days of practice, but did participate fully on Friday, and is not listed as having a game status. Presumably, that indicates that the plan is for him to play, but they could still decide to rest him.

Not to get into conspiracies, but Dupree Tweeted last night, “I love this game and all the risk that come with it! We never choose to get hurt but we all pray we overcome them!”. Different people will choose to interpret this in different ways, but I’m going to refrain from doing so here.

Obviously, we know that he is injured, to some extent. He told reporters last week that he injured his shoulder early in camp, and he got a second opinion leading into the first game that indicated it was a little more than they thought.

So should he play today, he will be doing so at less than 100 percent. He hasn’t gotten a lot of work all summer, spending a lot of time in and out of the practice lineup because of the shoulder, so we haven’t seen all that much of him.

Last week, Anthony Chickillo started in his absence and held his own, registering two sacks and six tackles. He will no doubt see nearly all the snaps again if Dupree sits, but even if he does play, it would not be surprising if Chickillo continues to see a good amount of snaps, or perhaps even start until the latter is fully up and running.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • will

    “Last week, Anthony Chickillo started in his absence and held his own, registering two sacks and six tackles.”……………oh, ……..and a recovery of a blocked punt for a touchdown, two of those six tackles were for for a loss of yards,……..and two additional QB hits to boot!

    If that performance is “held his own”……..then what does he have to do to exceed?

  • Chad Weiss

    If he’s not a hundred percent don’t play him it’s that easy.Why risk further injury?
    I think Dupree looked hands down like a dominant player in pre season and looks like he’s gonna break out this year. Imo in his limited playing in pre season he looked like the best player on this defense albeit pre season.

  • Conserv_58

    No. He should not play. His injured shoulder was wrapped in ice on Friday. Given how well Anthony Chickillo played last week there is no justifiable reason to put Bud out there with a bad shoulder. Having a healthy Anthony Chickillo starting is far better than having an injured Dupree out there.

  • michael young

    Personally, I would prefer them to err on the side of caution with him. We are currently in a pretty good spot at OLB (both sides) with Chickillo playing well, Moats behind him and Watt/Deebo on the other side. If resting him for another week or two gets him closer to full strength, then that makes the most sense. If there is a higher risk of injury to the shoulder by playing him (beyond the normal risk), then I don’t see the purpose of putting him out there. A shoulder injury for an OLB is even more difficult to overcome on the field. Your whole job is to punch, dip, swim and tackle with your arms out. All of these require strength and flexibility in your shoulders.

  • Ichabod

    I don’t get it. These players get millions per year. Every Freakin injury should get 2nd and 3rd opinions immediately!!

  • rdjmsr53

    I don’t think he should start. He lost that spot and needs to earn it back. Let him spell Chick. Just like a good backup should play

  • Zarbor

    I’m with Mike T. on this one. Everybody is dealing with injury in this sport. The question isn’t is he 100% the question is can he play like he’s 100%. Meaning can he do everything he normally does with contact? Seems like he can so put him on the field. You don’t have to play him all game since the position is deep enough.

  • RickM

    Rest is the most over-rated remedy for shoulder injuries. The shoulder just gets re-aggravated when it’s fully used again; especially when you’re playing a sport. That said, good luck Bud.

  • WreckIess

    Lol. What?

  • Carl Mendelius

    I want to see Chikillo again, just to see if he can maintain a high level of performance.

  • dany

    I agree here. If Dupree is better than Chickillo, he should have zero trouble earning that spot back. Say he plays today, which by now seems very likely, and there are 60 D snaps, Chickillo starts and takes 40, Bud 20, ease him in. If his natural abilities show up as they should, he should have the bulk of those snaps again in a matter of two weeks or so