David DeCastro making a return to the gridiron wouldn’t surprise a lot of people. A former All-Pro who appears to be done playing for the immediate future following his release from the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday, DeCastro’s hiatus from football comes at only 31 years old. Coming off six consecutive Pro Bowl selections, DeCastro was still performing at a level among the league’s best in 2020.
He had several seasons left before retirement became more of an expectation. The news of his release surprised many, and has led to speculation he will announce his retirement rather than sign elsewhere. He hasn’t announced that yet. But even if he does, there is enough time for DeCastro to get the urge to play again, and make a comeback in the coming seasons. Speaking with 93.7 The Fan Friday, DeCastro addressed the potential of that.
“I have to see how the surgery goes, have to talk to the doctor and get it done. Best ankle guy I can go to, he did my surgery last time and he’s a straight shooter, so I’m going to talk with him. All I can do is take it one day at a time and see how it feels. I’d be happy either way. I’m not really too concerned about the future, to be honest. I had a great career if this is it. We’ll see. We’ll give it the time it deserves and go from there,” DeCastro said.
DeCastro’s comments, in one of his first major interviews since the release Thursday, don’t mention an official retirement announcement in the immediate future, or a return to football. A decision one way or the other appears to rest on how well he feels and recovers from an upcoming third ankle surgery because of bone spurs.
DeCastro also had ankle surgery prior to the 2020 season. He recovered from that and other ailments well over the years, playing a full 16 games four times and at least 14 games all but his first and last seasons. He played in four games as a rookie while dealing with a knee injury, and 13 last season.
It’s up to DeCastro to clarify his status. A comeback could happen for the next several seasons before becoming unlikely. A return to Pittsburgh, the only team he has played for in his 10-year career, remains a possibility. So too does signing with a contending team with an immediate need for a former All-Pro to patch one major hole on the way to a postseason run.