Now that the 2020 regular season 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 are seeing over the course of the season as it plays out. Who is making plays? Who is missing them? Who is losing snaps? Who is struggling to stay on the field?
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: G David DeCastro
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: According to Mike Tomlin, the veteran right guard will practice today for the first time during the 2020 season.
David DeCastro has sat out the first two games of the 2020 regular season as a result of a knee injury that he suffered at some point in the middle of training camp. We were never given meaningful details about the nature or extent of the injury, beyond the basic fact that he was not put on the injured reserve list, an indication that the team felt it would take fewer than three weeks for him to start practicing.
If Tomlin is to be believed, then their estimate has proven accurate. He did miss the first two games, which the Steelers managed to win without him via the combination of Stefen Wisniewski, who himself is now on injured reserve, and Kevin Dotson, a rookie fourth-round pick who started on Sunday and represented himself well.
But for as excited as fans might be about Dotson, the reality here is that we’re talking about getting back an All-Pro-level offensive lineman, and at a key position next to a right tackle who himself has only started three games, both of the first two of which came next to DeCastro.
The interior of the Steelers’ offensive line is their most experienced area of their entire roster between DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey, and they are a critical part of the entire team’s nucleus, with the latter being a team captain.
Having them out on the field together provides a great deal of comfort and stability to the offensive line, and there is no reason to believe that DeCastro should experience any drop in his level of play, unless it is a matter of working his way back into form from the knee injury.
Either way, the bottom line is that he is now on the mend and on his way back into the starting lineup, so suffice it to say that they means his stock is up. And hopefully that means the offense’s stock is up as a whole as well.