Part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' stumble to the finish last season was due to injury attrition on defense.
One of those key defenders, Devin Bush, tore his ACL in Week 5 (Oct. 18) in a 38-7 win over the Cleveland Browns. Juxtaposing that day when the Pittsburgh defense held Cleveland to 220 total yards and 12 total first downs with the postseason matchup in which the Browns went for 390 yards, 20 first downs, and scored 48 points, tells the story of the Steelers defense in 2020.
Getting Bush -- a hard-hitting rover who gobbles up everything in the middle of the field -- back this season will go a long way in shoring up the Steelers defense.
While Pittsburgh is holding the third-year pro out of team workouts during OTAs, Bush estimated he's at about "80, 90%" recovered. He plans to be "100%" come training camp in late July.
"I'm ready for it," Bush said Wednesday, via the Associated Press. "It's definitely something I'm going to have to adjust to coming off injury. But I'm looking forward to playing 100% of the snaps."
Turning 23 in July, Bush said he's not worried about the knee returning to form for the start of the season. His focus is getting mentally prepared to play following rehab.
"Physically, you know you can get over this. You can recover from it. You can get out of it," Bush said. "It's the mental part of getting back out there and going full speed without thinking about it."
If Bush is full-go for the start of the 2021 season, it will go a long way in helping the Steelers defense get back to the smothering play that characterized the beginning of their 2020 campaign before injuries took hold.