Good news on DeCastro makes for tough decisions on cut day

AP

The good news for the Steelers is that the knee injury to first-round pick David DeCastro wasn’t as serious as initially feared.

The bad news is it creates a complicated set of decisions for the team when it goes about picking a roster tomorrow.

There’s always a problem getting to that 53,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That is the challenge that is the National Football League. We understand it and embrace it, and I think our guys do as well.”

DeCastro’s situation is one of several involving key players for the Steelers whose injuries could cause them to miss time. Running back Rashard Mendenhall has been activated from the physically unable to perform list, but hasn’t practiced after last year’s ACL tear. Inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester is expected to miss two more weeks with a sprained MCL. Outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) and his backup Jason Worilds (wrist) were activated from the PUP list, and are expected to practice Monday. Nose tackle Casey Hampton hasn’t played since ACL surgery in January, but he could play tonight.

Keeping DeCastro on the 53 knowing he’ll still miss significant time would mean going short at another position.

That could cost veteran backup quarterback Charlie Batch a roster spot, at least for the short term, since Byron Leftwich is solid as the backup to Ben Roethlisberger.

“We’ve got some tough decisions to make,” Tomlin said. “But if we do our job and they do their job, those decisions are always tough.”

They’re also, in many cases, temporary.

DeCastro’s situation also emphasizes the need for a designation a step short of season-ending injured reserve, as was discussed by the league and the union but never agreed to.

16 responses to “Good news on DeCastro makes for tough decisions on cut day

  1. Glad for DeCastro but angry about a sports networks bottom screen display that said he tore both the MCL and ACL and was lost for the season.
    Too bad they didn’t get it right first. That is total BS.
    Its the only job they have to do.

  2. He still going to be out till at least week 8. Sucks for him. If they release batch they will loose thier best QB. This team is in trouble. I can not wait till they are 2-5 and he comes back to save the season. They should just put him on IR, the season will be a lost cause by the time he healthy to play effectively

  3. It is more important to be healthy at the end of the season than the beginning, when you go into the playoffs. Losing people like Pouncey, Mendenhall and Smith hurt for the playoffs. You have to have your top guns ready to play at the end. Harrison, Mendenhall, Hampton, Worilds, Sylvester all should be fine by early in the season. If DeCastro can play the last third 4-5 games of the season, he could make a meaningful impact for the playoffs.

  4. Good news for steeler fans but unfortunately the offense will be 20th or worst much like last year. Just hope the defense can carry the team to a wildcard spot this year.

  5. Good God Ravens fans why don’t you go check in on your own pathetic team. With your aging ray lewis(REALLY SLOW) and ed reed(slow and injury prone), missing suggs for season and still no NFL level quarterbacks on the roster and a mediocre O line yourselves, good luck winning 9 or 10 games this year. This is the same O line and team(Steelers) with some improvements that went 12-4 last year only because they did something completely out of character and lost twice to your team(won’t happen again Ravens)!

  6. The Steelers offensive line has taken a lot of heat from both Steelers haters and lovers.

    Sorry to say it, but the haters are going to be greatly disappointed and the lovers will be pleasantly surprised.

    Last year 15 of Roethlisbergers 40 sacks game in the first four games, prior to the return of Max Starks. After Starks return, Roethlisberger was sacked 25 times in 11 game. Charlie Batch was sacked once in the game Roethlisberger missed. This includes a 1-sack performance against the vaunted Ravens defense during a game in which Roethlisberger dropped back 37 times.

    Going even further, after the Steelers Week 11 bye, the team gave up 1.66 sacks per game, which is on par with the Top 6 teams in the league. When you consider the fact that Starks signed with the team and basically started cold, it makes sense that the line would have had the chance to finally gel during the Bye Week.

    Starks and Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey each missed the playoff game due to injuries, and the Oline surrendered 5 sacks in an awful performance.

    So this year, they’ll have a full season of Starks, a major upgrade at LG with Willie Colon, a healthy Pouncey, and Marcus Gilbert entering his second season at RT.

    So, even without DeCastro, the Steelers OLine will be much improved.

  7. It is ridiculous that in these times IR still must mean the entire season. The NFL and the Players Union can’t agree on anything that seems to help the game. It is such a poisoned atmosphere. This is exactly the type of situation in which all NFL teams should have some options around with injured players like this. They failed to be able to come together on these options. Having the ability to put 1 or 2 guys on a shortened IR would benefit all.

  8. Ravenator:

    The Ravens offensive line is ancient by NFL standards. They will start three linemen who are at least 32 years old. But age is only part of the problem with this group. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie is dealing with a weight issue again. Left guard Bobbie Williams is coming off season-ending ankle surgery. Center Matt Birk missed a large portion of training camp with a back injury.

  9. Losing Decastro is a bummer but it’s not like he was expected to be offensive player of the year as a rookie.

    On the other hand, losing Suggs for the year (one of the best defensive NFL players) is a HUGE loss for the Ravens. There’s no way they replace his production. And it means Ben will get sacked 6 less times this season.

    Laces out!

  10. Big Ben eludes the rush better than anybody! Thats why he was voted by his peers as the 30th best nfl player last year. He’s a beast and can win in despite having the worst o-line in the nfl for years now. The same cant be said about brady, brees, manning etc. they always have 8 seconds to throw. While ben has 2 seconds before the pocket collapses. If he ever had a good o-line it would be absolutely scary to see what he could do.. Heck its scary now..He is truly awesome!

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