On Sunday in a pummeling against the Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush was injured. He tore his ACL on a routine tackle late in the first of the game. Devin Bush has recorded 16 tackles, five sacks, and had defended three passes, and was a staple on Pittsburgh’s defense. His shoes will be hard ones to fill. However, Pittsburgh Steelers fans should not be worried about Devin Bush’s injury.
Long time special teamer Robert Spillane filled in for Devin Bush, and finished the day with five tackles and one tackle for loss.
“Spillane more than answered the bell, but we have a great deal of confidence in him. He’s a capable guy. Guys that make plays in special teams, that’s usually a precursor to them making plays in defense. Since we brought him up in the middle of last year he’s been a consistent performer for us. I don’t think any of us are surprised from quality play from him.”Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said postgame
Spillane is not a perfect replacement for Bush. However, he is excellent against the run and performed well on Sunday. If he can continue playing the way he did on Sunday, then the Steelers will have no problems. If Spillane begins to decline, there are many options for the coaching staff to turn to, mainly Ulysses Gilbert III and Marcus Allen.
Ulysses Gilbert III is the linebacker behind Spillane on the depth chart. Despite being a sixth-round pick in 2019, he was applauded in training camp, but injuries kept him out of play last year. Gilbert has been marked inactive this year, but he does have the talent to play at an NFL level.
Marcus Allen, on the other hand, is not a linebacker. He is a safety who took a hybrid role as both a safety and as a coverage linebacker in training camp. Allen is a large and physical player who has mainly plays special teams next to Spillane.
“If Devin does have to be down for a while, those [players] will be called to step up. [Spillane] will be among them, Gilbert will be among them, Marcus Allen will be among them.”
None of these players are Devin Bush, but every one of them will have to step up because of Devin Bush’s injury. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. Mike Tomlin knows them, and he will play with them. One of them may not be able to replace Bush fully, but the three of them most certainly be able to.