When rookie guard David DeCastro tore his MCL and suffered other damage to his right knee in the preseason, there were plenty of people who assumed that it meant the start of his NFL career would be delayed a year.
The Steelers were not part of that group and they placed DeCastro on injured reserve with the designation to return later in the season because they thought he’d be able to help them before the year was out. Eight weeks have passed, which means DeCastro is eligible to play. He hasn’t been able to start practicing, though, and the chances of his getting on the field this year aren’t looking quite as good as the Steelers might have hoped.
Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that no one expects to see DeCastro on the field any time soon and that the team has started losing optimism about his ability to make it back at all. He’s working out in a pool and doing a lot of mental work to stay as sharp as possible, but time is running short for the rookie to get back before the year is out.
The Steelers line has done a good job protecting Ben Roethlisberger thus far and the running game has come to life in the last couple of weeks. Whether or not that’s because they are guilty of holding defenders, as Giants defensive end Justin Tuck would have you believe, it has lessened some of the urgency to get DeCastro back.