Tennessee Titans big free-agent acquisition Bud Dupree is one step closer to being ready for the 2021 season.
The club announced Friday it activated Dupree from the physically unable to perform list. The edge rusher, who suffered a knee injury last season, passed his physical and is eligible to begin practicing.
It's fantastic news for the Titans that Dupree is coming off the list before the first preseason game. Not that we expect him to see much, if any, action during the exhibition slate, but Tennessee could have taken a cautious route after the playmaker suffered an ACL tear in early December. Activating him now indicates they're comfortable with his rehab process and can ramp him up ahead of the 2021 campaign.
Despite the knee injury, the Titans signed Dupree to a five-year, $82.5 million contract this offseason, believing he was a missing piece who could jumpstart a struggling pass rush. Throughout the process, the Tennessee brass has been optimistic Dupree would be ready for the season. Taking him off the PUP list this week continues that trend of optimism.
Asked by reporters after Friday's practice if he thought he'd be ready by Tennessee's Week 1 opener against the Arizona Cardinals, Dupree responded, "God willing, I'm out here. That's what it is, man. I'm working to be in position to be able to play whenever they need me to play. If they want me to play Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, 4, 5, it don't matter. But I know mentally and physically, I'ma be ready. So I'm just gonna put everything on (the Titans) to know when I'll be suited up."
Dupree being ahead of schedule now is fortunate for a Titans defense that desperately needs the type of pass-rushing production he can bring when healthy.