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2021 Offseason Questions: What’s The Deal With David DeCastro?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books. It ended in spectacular fashion — though the wrong kind of spectacular — in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense. Multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. Right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quo with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?

These are the sorts of questions we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football is a year-round pastime and there are always questions to ask, though there is rarely a concrete answer. This is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all of their uncertainty.

Question: What’s the deal with David DeCastro?

We don’t know exactly what is going on with David DeCastro right now. That is bad news—not because it foretells that something negative is afoot, but because it leads to rampant, sometimes reckless, speculation, which we’ve already seen in this case.

The 10th-year guard has only made an appearance once this offseason. He was not present at OTAs. Then he was on the field, but not dressed for practice, on the first day of minicamp. Since then, he has not been in sight of the media. Needless to say, he has not been made available for interviews, either (then again, neither has the majority of the roster).

So what exactly is going on with DeCastro? A number of players skipped OTAs, including Eric Ebron, so at least that could be a simple enough matter. He was there for at least one day of minicamp, and it’s possible that he was present in the building, but not on the field, for the other two days.

Many have raised the question as to whether or not he is retiring, but I find that to be a stretch at best. If he were going to retire, he almost surely would have done it by now. Another possibility is a matter of health. He suffered a knee injury during training camp that caused him to miss time. it’s possible that he had an offseason surgery, which is fairly common.

Whatever the story is, he now has several weeks before the Steelers open training camp. As of now, there is no reason to expect that he won’t be present and practicing most days during that time. But it still would be nice to know what the story is, if only for curiosity’s sake.

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