Hours after his release, we have a little more clarity as to what led to David DeCastro’s departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kudos to the PPG’s Joe Starkey, who spoke with DeCastro to get the story. According to Starkey’s article, DeCastro says he needs ankle surgery, his third, to repair a nagging bone spur problem.
From the PPG article.
“I have to get surgery on my ankle a third time,” DeCastro said in a text Thursday. “I tried to fix it last year but the bone spurs kept coming back. It nagged me pretty bad all last year.”
DeCastro reportedly had at least one surgery before the 2020 season. It’s unclear when the second one occurred. Possibly after this season. Clearly, the operations haven’t healed him enough. It led to his worst season in the NFL as the Steelers’ run game bottomed out to a league-worst 32nd in most categories.
The Steelers released DeCastro via the non-football injury list on Thursday, signaling injury was the driving reason by. DeCastro told Starkey he hasn’t officially retired but would consider walking away from the game. He says it depends on how his upcoming surgery goes.
“I’d have no problem calling it a day and moving on with my life,” he said.
DeCastro, the 24th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, started 124 games for the Steelers. He started in 13 games last year, missing parts of the season due to a core muscle injury but now, it’s clear the ankle was bothering him just as much and for the entire season. Now, he’ll go under the knife and see what interest the league has in signing him. If the money and/or opportunity isn’t good enough, it’s likely he will retire.
Pittsburgh signed five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to replace DeCastro. It’s one of many changes the Steelers have made to their offensive line this year. Their projected 2021 o-line now looks like:
LT – Chukwuma Okorafor
LG – Kevin Dotson
C – Kendrick Green/BJ Finney
RG – Trai Turner
RT – Zach Banner
Only Banner held his projected role to start the 2020 season. He tore his ACL in the team’s Week One win over the New York Giants.