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2022 Stock Watch – DL DeMarvin Leal – Stock Down

Now that training camp is over with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Pittsburgh and gearing up for what they hope will be a much more productive season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of training camp and the preseason and the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. 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. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: DL DeMarvin Leal

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: The rookie defensive lineman suffered a knee injury in practice yesterday, and was not only unable to finish, but was ruled out for tomorrow’s game. As of this writing, we do not know the severity of it, but we do know that it’s obviously a setback. We can only hope that it’s not a prolonged injury.

Second-year defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk confirmed in the afternoon yesterday that he was going to dress for the first time this season after recovering from a rib injury. It was unclear exactly how that would shape up until the injury report came out.

Not only were four members of the starting secondary out for the game but so too was rookie defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, who had dressed for and played in every game this season. Indeed, he had developed an important and versatile role in the absence of T.J. Watt.

That is certainly a highly unfortunate development, exponentially more so if the injury proves to be anything serious. The third-round draft pick had not been on the injury report at all on Wednesday or Thursday before suffering an injury during Friday’s practice that was serious enough to sideline him at least through Sunday.

Fingers crossed for just a one-game injury and that he can get back on the field soon after that, but we have no idea what happened to him at this point. All we know that is, according to the injury report, he was fine on Thursday and then not fine on Friday.

Leal had logged 96 defensive snaps through the first five games of the season for the Steelers, 50 of which had come in just the past two games. He has registered nine tackles on the season, one for loss, and has three batted passes. Although he has yet to register even an official quarterback hit, he has shown flash as a developing pass rusher.

I’m not going to get all doom and gloom right now until we know something material about his status. All we know for now is that he will miss Sunday’s game, and hopefully that will be all he misses. In the meantime, we still get our first look of the year at Loudermilk, who will certainly get in the game and contribute, a victim only of the numbers the team has had at the position this year.

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