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: The ninth-year offensive lineman was able to successfully return from a knee injury suffered in training camp to full-time action on Sunday, seemingly without missing a beat.
David DeCastro suffered a knee injury of some kind during the middle of training camp. While it was not serious to warrant his being placed on the injured reserve list, it was enough to keep him out of the first two games of the season.
Even after Stefen Wisniewski was injured in the season opener, that didn’t make him or the team budge. He didn’t even practice leading up to week two. They simply moved ahead with the plan of having fourth-round rookie Kevin Dotson start. I think that was as much a statement about their comfort in where his knee was that week as it was about their confidence in Dotson’s ability to play well.
But with that extra rest, DeCastro was able to come in during week three after a full slate of practices and step right into the starting lineup as though nothing had changed. Granted, he was playing alongside a new right tackle—he would have been either way—but at least he started two games next to Chukwuma Okorafor before.
And he played well in his first game back, executing well in pass protection, passing off stunts, communicating effectively, and even getting his pulling game on for the ground attack. That’s not to say that it was one of the best games he has ever played, but for his first action of the entire year, it was quite solid.
Most importantly, he came out of the game physically feeling very good. He had no issues whatsoever with the knee, which he told reporters after the game, and which Mike Tomlin confirmed days later. That means his knee is in good shape and there is no more reason to worry about it than any other one of his body parts.