Tests on Bud Dupree’s left knee have confirmed an ACL tear and ended the Pittsburgh Steelers outside of linebacker season, a source confirmed to ESPN.
When asked about Dupree’s injury on Thursday, coach Mike Tomlin said: “You can say it’s official that Bud is out for the year with a serious knee injury.”
Dupree appeared to have injured his knee in a touchless game in the second half of Wednesday’s 19:14 win against the Baltimore Ravens.
Dupree is playing on the annual franchise day and becomes a free agent after that season. He continued his 2019 breakout campaign with another tough effort this season, recording eight sacks, two forced fumbling and 26 tackles. Together with T.J. Watt, Dupree was a founding member of the Steelers Pass Rush.
Steeler’s close end Eric Ebron tweeted all the best to Dupree Thursday, saying he was “heavy hearted but I know you will attack rehab / treatment and be back 100x better”.
– Eric Ebron (@ Ebron85) 3rd December 2020
Replacing Dupree won’t be easy. Rookie Alex Highsmith, the Steelers’ third-round draft pick, is the top contender to fill his role.
Dupree is the second Steelers defensive starter to suffer such an injury. Middle linebacker Devin Bush tore up his ACL against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.
News of Dupree’s test results was first reported by the NFL Network.