Third-year linebacker Robert Spillane is expected to replace the injured Devin Bush on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive line for the remainder of the season. Bush suffered an ACL tear during the Steelers’ matchup with the Browns.
Devin Bush Tears ACL vs. Browns
As the 10th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Bush has only played one full season with the Steelers.
Last year, Bush recorded 109 total tackles, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He played in all 16 games of the regular season.
Bush played every defensive snap in the first four games of this season. He also made defensive calls in the middle of the defense.
Last week, Bush went down on the field during the second quarter. Later, Adam Schefter reported that the linebacker had torn his ACL, ending his 2020 season. He was scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday.
“It just makes you sick when someone, a young player, skilled like that, gets hurt,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.
Bush’s teammates took to Twitter to show their support for the young linebacker.
praying for my brother Devin Bush he is the ultimate competitor and doesn’t get enough credit for how well he plays! #DBUSHMYBRUDDA
— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) October 18, 2020
Robert Spillane to Replace Devin Bush
Spillane entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2018 after playing college football at Western Michigan. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans following the 2018 NFL Draft.
In 2019, Spillane signed with the Steelers and started out on the team’s practice squad. He was soon promoted to the 53-man roster.
That year, he contributed mostly on special teams in the second half of the season. He recorded eight solo tackles and 11 total tackles.
This year, Spillane will replace the injured Devin Bush. After Bush went down on Sunday, Spillane totaled five solo tackles.
“It’s comfortable,” Spillane said. “I like speaking to my teammates during [the play call] and pre-snap. So I’ve gotten so comfortable with these guys over the past two years. And it really feels awesome because as soon as I stepped on the field, I felt like my teammates trusted me. And they’ve respected the work that I’ve put into the past two years.”
He was also responsible for wearing the defensive headset and relaying play calls .
“We’ve got a great deal of confidence in Robert, and we’ll largely go with him in the replacement of Devin,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “Through game planning, we will look at options in terms of dividing the labor, but Robert will be the primary man responsible for replacing Devin. We’re excited about watching him play and play to the standard of our expectations.”
How Does This Impact the Steelers Defense?
This week, the Steelers are heading into a game that could prove a lot for the remainder of their season. They will face-off against the Tennessee Titans, who are also undefeated.
For the Pittsburgh defense, losing Bush is a significant blow.
Tomlin: “Devin Bush is scheduled to have surgery to fix his ACL on Wednesday, Our heart goes out to Devin. It's an unfortunate circumstance, but as we always say, injuries are as much a part of the game as blocking and tackling, one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity.
— Blitzburgh (@RenegadeBlitz) October 20, 2020
However, in the second half of last week’s game, Spillane proved he was capable of filling Bush’s role.
“Devin is a great player, high effort guy,” Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree said. “He’s one of the most underrated guys on the team, one of the fastest guys on the team, so anytime you lose somebody like that, it’s a big blow. But Spillane came in and did well. He communicated well. Prayers up for Devin as he goes through recovery.”
The Steelers also have a few players that can be rotated out to make up for the loss of Bush. The rest of their defensive line is strong and should be able to hold up against most NFL offenses.
The Steelers are set to kickoff against the Titans in Nashville on Oct. 25 at 1:00 p.m.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“From Our Haus to Yours“