The Steelers will see a few former players on the Seattle Seahawks. For example, former first-round draft pick Artie Burns has a chance to start against the team with Devon Witherspoon banged-up in the slot.
In the last two weeks, Burns has allowed six receptions on seven targets for 50 yards. He has not allowed a touchdown and is limiting yards after the catch. And at the very least, he is giving the Seahawks the competitive reps they need, but a game against his former team the Steelers presents a unique opportunity for Burns to make a little bit of a statement to the team who drafted him.
Burns, 28, was the Steelers’ first-round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he lost his starting job in Pittsburgh by the end of his tenure, which triggered the Steelers to decline the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
But there is one other former Steelers first-round pick that could have a revenge game. That is Devin Bush, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason. Bush has not started a game this year, but Jordyn Brooks is dealing with an ankle injury that could severely hamper him this week, and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did not seem optimistic he would play.
“The ankle was sore. There’s a question there,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be hard to get him back.”
Bush replaced Brooks in game, but his first significant action next to Bobby Wagner will happen against his former team in a must-win game if Brooks can not go. It becomes even more interesting when Bush appeared to take a shot at the Steelers after their loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Bush, 24, was the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft when the team traded up with the Denver Broncos to select him out of Michigan with the No. 10 overall selection. He never lived up to the billing of that draft pick in four seasons in Pittsburgh. Bush started 15 games in a promising rookie season in 2019, but he never recovered his form after an ACL injury caused him to miss most of the 2020 season.
At training camp, Bush seemed to be okay with it being his last year in Pittsburgh. He never sweated the idea of being in a contract year, instead opting to look for the fact that teams would still be interested in a player of his pedigree. As such, Devin Bush ripped into any clue that there could be a concern, citing the business side of the game.
“It’s the business,” Bush said. “I mean, I’m gonna still be in the NFL. So, we’ll see.”
But now, that has a chance to come back around. Bush can show his former team what they missed, and could bury their playoff hopes with it in a must-win game for both teams.