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 have to miss more time due to his latest injury after missing the first two games of the season with a knee injury.
Explanation: David DeCastro suffered an abdominal injury in the first half of yesterday’s game and was ultimately ruled out. He was just two games back from the knee injury that kept him out of the first two games.
While I don’t believe his knee is likely to still be bothering him—they were probably being cautious in the first place, and now he’s had a bye week to rest up after his first action—there is reason to believe this latest injury will keep him out.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that DeCastro’s availability will be in question, adding that he would not have more information until his Tuesday press conference. In contrast, he was more upbeat about the prospects of Diontae Johnson playing. Maurkice Pouncey was also injured and did not finish the game, with J.C. Hassenauer stepping in late for his first-ever snaps.
Given that they appeared to be playing it safe with DeCastro regarding his knee injury, there is no reason to believe that they won’t take the same approach with his abdominal injury, which is something that can linger if not tended to.
The Steelers are trying to get on a roll here at 4-0 and they know that they can’t take their foot off the gas. They head into next week’s game prepared to face a 4-1 Cleveland Browns team. It’s far too early to call any game a must-win, but it is a pivotal divisional game that will call for all hands on deck.
Kevin Dotson played admirably in DeCastro’s place two games ago and in the second half yesterday (though he was docked with a holding penalty), but there is a clear step down whenever the All-Pro guard is not in the lineup. It’s much easier to tough out an upper body injury than a lower-body one.