Steelers activate Bud Dupree, place Wheaton on IR

  • By Jeremy Bergman
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One pass rusher out, one pass rusher in.

The Pittsburgh Steelers swapped injured defensive end Cameron Heyward for second-year pass rusher Bud Dupree on Saturday, officially placing the former on injured reserve while activating the latter.

Dupree missed the entire preseason and spent the first nine games of the 2016 season on IR after undergoing surgery to fix a core muscle tear. The outside linebacker took first-team reps in practice this week and was hopeful to play on Sunday against the Browns. Dupree had a promising rookie campaign in 2015, tallying four sacks and 26 tackles in five starts and 16 games.

Pittsburgh also placed wide receiver Markus Wheaton on injured reserve on Saturday. The wideout has been dealing with a shoulder injury and hasn't played since Week 5. Dupree's return means Wheaton will miss the remainder of the season.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense has gotten along just fine without Wheaton, using Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates more often across from Antonio Brown. But depth at the position may become an issue as the weather turns and Pittsburgh seeks to grind out an AFC North title.