On Saturday afternoon the Tennessee Titans placed prized free agent acquisition Bud Dupree on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list, one of three Titans players to go on the team’s PUP list. The former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker is attempting to recover from a torn ACL, which he suffered on Dec. 2, 2020 during a game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Dupree’s absence stands out even more than it otherwise might, because Tennessee’s 2021 first-round pick, cornerback Caleb Farley, isn’t ready to play either. Farley—who hasn’t appeared in a competitive football game since 2019 and has had two back surgeries in a year—has been placed on the Titans’ Non-Football Injury list along with center Aaron Brewer.
If you include the two other PUP list players—offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo and running back Jeremy McNichols—that makes five Titans who aren’t ready for training camp, with Tennessee’s first practice now just four days away.
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From: I’ll Be Healthy ‘Way Before Camp’ to I’ll Be Back ‘As Soon As I Can’
While it’s not entirely surprising that Bud Dupree isn’t ready for Titans training camp, it’s perhaps worth noting that the former first-round pick has sounded less and less optimistic about his rehab as time has passed.
In March—before he signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Titans—Dupree told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that he planned to be a “full participant in an NFL training camp based on positive feedback from his doctors.”
Later that month he advised Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ official web site that he would be “full steam in camp, full steam ahead,” while promising that he would be “healthy way before camp.”
Then in mid-June he sounded a little less optimistic about being ready for camp, telling Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com: “I’m recovering well. I’m on schedule. As far as when they’ll let me practice, I really don’t know. It’s up to them to decide what they want to do and how they want to go forward with it. I’m just taking it day by day and I’m excited for the season ahead,” Dupree said.
Two weeks after that he appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football and admitted that “ACL recovery, rehab has been one of the most progress things I’ve dealt with so far…. I’m working hard to be back as soon as I can, but it’s up to the coaching staff at the end of the day, like when they want me to be on the field and how comfortable they feel with me coming off the injury.”
To be sure, Tennessee’s coaches want to see Dupree in the lineup sooner rather than later, as the Titans defense had just 19 sacks in 2020, the third-lowest total in the NFL. Meanwhile, Dupree managed eight sacks in 11 games last season, all by his lonesome.
Zach Banner and Devin Bush Were Not Placed on the Steelers’ PUP List
As for the two other Steelers who suffered torn ACL’s last season, neither started this year on Pittsburgh’s PUP list. Those are: offensive tackle Zach Banner, who was injured on September 14, 2020, during the team’s season opener against the New York Giants. Then inside linebacker Devin Bush went down with a torn ACL against the Cleveland Browns on October 18.
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