From early indications, it appears as though David DeCastro is on track to make his 2020 debut for the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday against the Houston Texans. The veteran guard was forced to sit out the first two games of the season due to a knee injury that he suffered in training camp. Yesterday was his first day back on the practice field since then.
The team has already had to start two different linemen in his place, neither of whom were on the roster a year ago—or in any other year. Stefen Wisniewski is a long-time veteran who was signed in free agency, but the suffered a pectoral injury late in the opener. On Sunday, rookie fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson started.
Even though he acquitted himself well, the Steelers won’t be shy about their excitement in sending Dotson back to the bench, because doing so means that DeCastro is back in the lineup, and when he is on the field, the offense is simply better for it, because he is an All-Pro talent.
“Having him back would be a huge, huge win for us because he’s a pro, he’s a vet”, fourth-year wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster told reporters yesterday about getting DeCastro back in the lineup. “This is what he does and he’s been doing it for a very long time”.
DeCastro was the team’s first-round draft choice back in 2012, a player that it seemed many did not except would fall far enough for them to land. But he did, and he’s been with the team since, and has earned the distinction of being one of the highest-paid and most-decorated interior offensive linemen in the league as a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro.
“Dave’s always been one of those guys who doesn’t say much, comes to practice, goes to work, do what he’s supposed to do, to his job and his assignment, and just go about his business”, Smith-Schuster said of his elder teammate, who came into the league with a reputation of being quiet. “He’s a really good dude, honestly. Awesome guy to be around. Not just on the field but off the field too”.
As he grew into the league, and into his role, DeCastro has actually become one of the best, most honest, and more informative interviews in the locker room, which is why he won the Chief Award a few years ago, awarded by the local journalists to the play who “best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media”.
Even with that said, however, he has always preferred to let his play do the talking first and foremost. He hasn’t had that opportunity through the first two games of the season thanks to his knee injury, but he looks to be tracking back on the path to playing this Sunday against the Texans.