Steelers LB Bud Dupree: 'I know I'll be back' in 2016

A year ago, Bud Dupree sacked Tom Brady on his first NFL snap. Now, with Pittsburgh set to face New England again this weekend, Dupree won't get another chance to sack the Patriots' passer, as Dupree continues to recovery from a sports hernia surgery. 

Earlier this month, Dupree spoke about his road to recovery, as he hopes to get back onto the field before the end of the 2016 regular season. Dupree was placed on the team's Injured Reserved list back in September, and can't come off IR until Pittsburgh's Week 9 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. 

"I know I'll be back, probably late though," Dupree told Steelers' reporter Jacob Klinger. 

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Dupree told Klinger that he initially suffered the injury in April, and that it has been Dupree's goal was to play through the pain during training camp, then rest during part (or all) of the preseason before beginning the regular season. It was a goal that unfortunately did not pan out. 

"I couldn't go straight," he said. "I can't do anything on the field if I can't run straight."

According to Klinger, Dupree still can't do lower body workouts beyond walking a mile on an elliptical or on a treadmill, as of October 3. Dupree is still re-strengthening his core with exercises by shifting his body weight around with ankle and other small weights. 

On Tuesday, Steelers.com weighed in on Dupree, as Bob Labriola said that fans can expect to see Ladarius Green -- returning this week after not participating in the team's OTA, mini camp and training camp sessions -- in a game before Dupree. 

Dupree's injury is just one of many injuries that have plagued Pittsburgh's defense thus far. The team has also been playing without Ryan Shazier (knee) and Cameron Heyward (hamstring), as the Steelers' defense surrendered 474 total yards in their 30-15 loss to Miami.

The team's No.1 pick last season, Dupree finished his rookie season with four sacks while becoming a starter 12 weeks into the 2015 regular season. And while he failed to record a sack in the season's last eight games, his pressure of Brock Osweiler led to a critical interception by Shazier late in Pittsburgh's Week 15 victory over Denver.

And after winning the team's Rookie of the Year award last year, Dupree hopes that he can come back and make an impact on the Steelers' defense before the 2016 regular season comes to a close. 

“I know I’m working hard," Dupree told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I’m trying to get back as soon as I can without putting myself at risk and being out longer.”

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