Tennessee Titans LB Bud Dupree continues to race clock as camp nears

Bud Dupree (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Bud Dupree (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

As the calendar turns from June to July, anticipation continues to grow for the 2021 NF season, and Tennessee Titans fans are pumped for a possible run at the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Outside of adding some sort of difference-maker at the tight end position, there isn’t anything more that a fan could have asked of Jon Robinson and this franchise.

Seemingly, with no money to spend, Tennessee has made improvements to their roster at some of the most troubled areas, adding what might be the best prospect at the cornerback position this past draft and a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at wide receiver.

And, that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Those are just two highlights.

Will Bud Dupree be ready for the start of the Tennessee Titans 2021 NFL season?

Obviously, it’s hard to top the news of someone the caliber of Julio Jones joining your favorite team’s roster, but even though some of them seem to have taken a backseat, the moves Jon Robinson made during the Spring and the Summer are worthy of a spot on ESPN’s Top Ten (if they’d be willing to put a general manager’s efforts on there).

One of which, without question, has to be the addition of Bud Dupree, someone the two-tone blue and their faithful hopes can resurrect a dying pass rush. Last season, in Week 12 versus the hated Baltimore Ravens, Dupree tore his ACL and was placed on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ injured reserve the following day.

If he wasn’t playing football, it would be a stretch to expect him to be one-hundred percent healthy 12 months later. In this case, that would be December 2nd, but football is his profession. You know what that means. Everyone wants him to be available. Think about it this way though.

He’s battling Father Time. He just turned 28 in February, and even though that’s prime age in the NFL, the expectation by some is that he recover from that torn ACL in December and be ready for the start of the regular season on September 12th. That’s sort of asking a lot, isn’t it?

On the final day of June, he appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, and here’s some of what he had to say on the subject.

"(I’m) just training hard every day right now, man. ACL recovery, rehab has been one of the most progress things I’ve dealt with so far. Each week you see different levels of progress. You see different things changing about it. 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."

Here’s a translation. He hasn’t been cleared, and though the hope is that he will be by the start of the new season, no one should be surprised if he isn’t suiting up versus the Arizona Cardinals in game one. That’s okay if he isn’t. The Tennessee Titans have some depth pieces to buy time, but the one thing they can’t do is rush Dupree back and risk further injury that will keep him on the shelf longer.

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He’s signed for five seasons. He’s scheduled to make $82.5 million over that span. The goal is to see him play the entire deal out, so yes, it’s human nature to want to see one of your most prized acquisitions in the lineup. The Titans might still want to play this one by ear though.

Keep your fingers crossed. Dupree’s rush to recovery is underway. How the race is run will determine whether or not he’s ready to go in September. Don’t panic if he isn’t though. Everything will work out fine here.