Two weeks ago, Bud Dupree gave a surprising "I don't know" when he was asked if he would play in the Pittsburgh Steelers' Sept. 12 opener.
That answer has become a flat "no" after the Steelers put last year's first-round draft pick on Injured Reserve and signed inside linebacker Steven Johnson.
Dupree, who practiced in only the first two OTAs and the first few training-camp practices, confirmed he had a groin injury "and other issues" two weeks ago. Those other issues turned out to be a sports hernia, for which he will undergo surgery this week, according to the Post-Gazette.
Dupree can return at midseason as the team's designated returnee. Each NFL team has one such player designation who must spend a minimum of six weeks on IR but can't return until after the eighth week of the season.
Ladarius Green is on the PUP list, which is different in that Green never attempted to practice upon the start of training camp. Green can return after the sixth week of the season.
The Steelers still have injured cornerback Senquez Golson on the active roster. He underwent surgery for a Lisfranc injury on Aug. 8 and said he has a 10-week timetable, which would put his return at Oct. 17. Golson added that he would return "for sure by the end of November."
Perhaps the Steelers will attempt to keep Golson on the active roster until he's healthy enough to play, or at least make an attempt to do so in order to have both Dupree and Golson available in the second half of the season.
For now, the Steelers have four outside linebackers, which is the normal number they take into a season. Jarvis Jones and Arthur Moats are the likely starters with James Harrison and Anthony Chickillo in reserve.
The signing of Johnson, whom they had cut the previous day, gives the Steelers six inside linebackers. His value lies mainly in special teams.
The Steelers also announced their 10-man practice squad on Sunday:
Running backs Brandon Brown-Dukes and Cameron Stingily; wide receivers Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers; OLB Travis Feeney; defensive linemen Johnny Maxey and Caushaud Lyons; tight end Rashaun Allen; offensive lineman Matt Feiler; and cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz.
Allen was the only outsider signed to the practice squad. The 6-4, 250-pound tight end was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 as an undrafted rookie out of Southern University. In the last two years he's been released by the Seahawks six times and has also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.
The Steelers return to the practice field Monday.