On Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers outclassed the Cleveland Browns with a 38-7 win at Heinz Field, but after the game the Steelers were considerably worried about the non-contact injury suffered by second-year inside linebacker Devin Bush, with head coach Mike Tomlin calling it “a significant knee injury.”
Devin Bush has a Torn ACL
Adam Schefter, Senior NFL Insider for ESPN, has since reported that Bush tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and will need season-ending surgery.
If this is indeed the case, it’s a serious blow to the Steelers defense, as Bush is not only one of Pittsburgh’s best and most promising young players on defense, but he plays one of the few positions on the team where the Steelers have no proven depth—at least none beyond eighth-year pro Vince Williams, who specializes in stuffing the run and rushing the quarterback. (This as opposed to Bush, who is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker and is frequently assigned to cover tight ends and running backs in pass coverage.)
Bush was Pittsburgh’s first-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (#10 overall) and was an impact player for the Steelers from the get-go. Last year he started 15 of 16 games and was in on 109 total tackles (72 solo), with nine tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, one sack, four passes defensed, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He was off to a strong start this year, with 21 tackles (14 solo) in the first four games of the regular season, plus half a sack and three passes defensed.
On Sunday he added five tackles (two solo) and half a sack before departing the game.
Replacing Devin Bush in the Steelers Lineup
At his postgame press conference on Sunday, Tomlin indicated that the Steelers might take a by-committee approach if Bush’s injury turned out to be long-term, saying, “If Devin is down for a while those will be called to step up; Uly Gilbert will be among them, Marcus Allen will be among them. We’ll put together a formula that will allow us to function in the interim, believe it.”
Now that scenario appears to be reality, though the Steelers have not made any official pronouncements as to Bush’s injury, which would be the second torn ACL injury a Pittsburgh player has suffered this season. Starting right tackle Zach Banner was lost for the year during the opener against the New York Giants and subsequently had season-ending surgery.
After Sunday’s game, Banner tweeted about his affection for his Steelers teammate.
Banner wasn’t the only Steeler to note that he’s thinking of his fallen teammate, as tight end Eric Ebron did so as well.
One can expect Tomlin to provide an update about Bush’s injury during his next press conference (which will likely be held circa noon ET on Tuesday), unless the team makes an official announcement before then.
Pittsburgh’s next game is scheduled for next Sunday in Nashville against the undefeated Tennessee Titans, the first of three consecutive road games. After that the Steelers are scheduled to play at Baltimore on October 25 and at Dallas on November 1.
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