7/6/21, 4:48 AM
Expect Dupree to be cleared shortly before the start of this season. Data on NFL ACL tears suggests that he will likely be reliably healthy in the short term, but his productivity may decline and career may be shortened as a result of the injury. These effects should be relatively mild in his case, and we’d expect him to have a productive 2021.
Return to Play:
When the 2021 season starts, Dupree will have had 9 months pass since his ACL tear. That’s fortunate, because it’s right around the time when most surgeons (~70%) would clear him for return to sports.
He’s publicly stated that he feels great and is on track for training camp, which is great to hear, but certainly does not guarantee the outcome. Most likely, he won’t miss much, if any, real game time this year.
One of the key questions is durability. For most NFL athletes, re-injury after ACL reconstruction occurs within the first 10 weeks after returning to play. If he outlasts that time period - which we expect he will - then most players would be in the clear for the short-term.
The bad news is that ACL tears have been shown in NFL data to decrease productivity for multiple positions (though not specifically for LBs), and decrease post-injury career length compared to uninjured peers.
As a result, while we are expecting Dupree to return around the start of the season, we expect him to show some decline from his prior level of play, and ultimately have a shorter career than an otherwise healthy LB.
Image Source: Jeffrey Beall, CC-BY-3.0