The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: David DeCastro will be ready to return and play this week.
Explanation: Considering that this is really the biggest question that the Steelers have right now until he gets back on the field, we might as well discuss David DeCastro’s status again before head coach Mike Tomlin addresses reporters today, at which point he will inevitably be asked for an update. His is the only significant injury on the 53-man roster after hurting his knee in training camp and sitting out the first two games.
The thing that I keep going back to is the fact that the Steelers chose not to put him on injured reserve knowing that it would cost him at least three games. If they felt that his injury would take longer than three weeks before he could get back on the field, then logic suggests they would have put him on the list.
This is about the timeline that you might expect for a knee sprain of some kind for an offensive lineman, which falls in line with what we have seen in the past. Although we don’t know the specific nature of his injury, we can safely assume that it’s not something that is going to keep him out for half of the season. By now, they would have a handle on its severity, and if he were going to miss even more time, they would still move him to the reserve list.
The mere fact that he wasn’t put on reserve doesn’t mean much. Frankly, we can’t rule out the possibility that Tomlin knew that the rule was different this year, based on the fact that he wasn’t certain if he could dress 48 players in the opener. And even if he did, it’s equally possible that they thought the injury was less serious than it’s proving to be.
DeCastro’s not the sort of person who is going to sit on the sidelines if he doesn’t have to, or it’s a coach’s decision. The fact that he hasn’t even been able to get back on the practice field and start working indicates that he is probably more than a week away.