The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are in a critical portion of the offseason in which the preseason takes center stage, where some of the biggest and most important questions get answered, especially in terms of personnel.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will David DeCastro play versus the Chiefs on Sunday?
The Steelers were in pretty good shape health-wise coming into the season opener, with only tight end Vance McDonald missing the game due to an injury. But the team could be down at least two more starters for the second game of the season, depending upon how the week progresses.
While we have already learned about Joe Haden and his minor hamstring injury, David DeCastro informed the media yesterday that he suffered a hand fracture during the opener that is worse than was initially believed, and that he may not be able to participate in the next game.
The issue is the swelling, which has yet to subside. Once that lessens, there are things that can be done to restrain the hand and allow him to play, but only time will tell if the injury allows this to happen in time for the next game.
Should he miss the game, B.J. Finney would start in his place, and while it would be the eighth start of his career, it would be his first at right guard. He has previously made five starts at left guard, where he has played best, in addition to two at center.
The Steelers believe in Finney a lot, seeing him as a starter-capable player at this point, so losing DeCastro wouldn’t prevent the team from running their offense, even if he is their best lineman.
Still, you never want any of your players injured on the sidelines, let alone one of your best. And while he may be able to play through it, he now has an injury that he will have to deal with throughout the season.