Now that the 2020 training camp has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: G David DeCastro
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: According to a report from Gerry Dulac yesterday, ninth-year veteran right guard David DeCastro is not expected to be able to play in the team’s season opener against the New York Giants. He has been dealing with a lower body injury of unknown description.
Outside of a thumb injury that cost him two games early in the 2018 season, David DeCastro has been pretty darn healthy over the course of his professional career, at least since it began with him suffering a torn MCL in the preseason of his rookie year, resulting in him missing most of the season.
As he enters year nine in 2020, however, it’s sounding as though the Steelers anticipate that he will not be available to them for the opener as he deals with some type of lower body injury. Because fans have been unable to attend training camp this year and reporters cannot reveal what they see in practice unless an interviewee confirms it, we have had no clarity on the exact nature of his injury or its severity.
Stefen Wisniewski is expected to start in DeCastro’s place. Signed in free agency to replace B.J. Finney as the top backup interior reserve, and at the time, to compete to start at left guard after Ramon Foster retired, he will now likely begin the final leg of his career with his hometown team in the starting lineup—if, hopefully, only for a game.
During his pre-game press conference yesterday, head coach Mike Tomlin said little of DeCastro, only to note that he wasn’t good enough to go during Monday’s ‘bonus’ practice, and that they would see what today holds as far as participation goes.
Hopefully Dulac’s sources prove to be wrong and that DeCastro is able to practice today, ramping up to full participation by the end of the practice week, and that he is able to play on Monday night. But the fact that the Steelers kept J.C. Hassenauer on the 53-man roster as a ninth lineman was already a seeming indication that they knew DeCastro’s health was in question for the start of the season.