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Steelers LB Bud Dupree (ACL) plans to be ready for training camp: 'I'm ahead of schedule in rehab'

Bud Dupree's 2020 season was cut short by an ACL tear suffered in the Week 12 win over Baltimore on Dec. 2.

Joining NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Wednesday, the edge rusher said he plans to be ready for training camp.

"I'm feeling great right now," Dupree said. "I'm ahead of schedule in rehab. It's a great thing as always, it's a blessing. I'm on track. And I'm going to be ready for camp. It's a blessing to take the small things from a big injury like there was, and just know that I'm still able to perform next season."

Dupree combined with T.J. Watt to form a two-headed pass-rushing monster in Pittsburgh before his injury. Dupree generated eight sacks and 31 tackles before suffering the injury.

It came as little surprise that the Steelers defense dipped after Dupree's injury. The edge rusher was a menace off the edge forcing QBs to quicken their decision-making. The impressive campaign cut short by injury felt like the final run for Dupree in Pittsburgh.

The 27-year-old edge rusher played 2020 on the franchise tag for $15.828 million. Dupree is set to hit the free-agent market this offseason. With the Steelers projected to be well over the expected salary cap in 2021, it's hard to imagine Pittsburgh being able to tag Dupree again for a 120 percent increase on a second tag to keep him off the open market or match what another club might offer.

The timing of Dupree's injury could curtail his market come March, especially if clubs aren't able to get a first-hand look at his medical process. A healthy Dupree would have had a robust set of candidates for his services. Hearing he's ahead of schedule is a modicum of good news for the edge rusher heading into the unknown of the offseason.

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