After a slow start, a lot of things went right for the Steelers in Saturday’s 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills from making splash plays on defense to finishing plays offensively and putting points on the board in the second half. The No. 1 offense though showed a great amount of inconsistencies once again, which has been concerning, and injuries put a damper to the night when first round pick David DeCastro was hurt during a passing play on third and eight at the Steelers own six yard line. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin immediately after last night’s game called the injury “potentially severe” and when Tomlin mentions a player as potentially having a severe injury, it almost always is and that’s the case with DeCastro’s injury.
DeCastro has been diagnosed with dislocated his knee cap, in addition to a torn his MCL, a league source says, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports DeCastro also suffered some damage to his patellar tendon, believed to be a partially torn tendon, in addition to the torn MCL and dislocated knee cap. An MRI on Monday will give the Steelers a better timetable for the injury but the Steelers are under the belief based on evaluations today that this will be at least a three month injury (likely longer), sidelining DeCastro until early December. That’s believed to be a very optimistic and best case scenario view of the injury, one individual said, as DeCastro is likely headed to injured reserve and could very well have a five to six month rehab but if the Steelers feel he could be back in the late November/early December timeframe, it’s not a guarantee they will put him on IR.
The DeCastro injury can be categorized as a big blow for when evaluating DeCastro’s potential impact over the course of the entire 2012 season, but for right now, the injury does not set the Steelers offensive line back significantly or much at all.
The good news for the Steelers is that they have Ramon Foster around who will now slide into the starting right guard spot and there’s not going to be much of a drop off between Foster who has proved to be an adequate guard in this league and where DeCastro was at his development prior to the injury. Foster has had a strong camp and for an offensive line last season that had nine different starters and 25 different o-line combinations, Foster wasn’t one of the Steelers weak links. There’s some thought in the organization that DeCastro had the making of a Maurkice Pouncey type of rookie impact in him and there’s no denying that losing that type of potential impact is a significant blow as Foster doesn’t have that in him, but from a performance standpoint in camp, the players were really neck and neck. The injury is disappointing but not a huge setback to the Steelers O-line.
The Steelers now project to go into week one in Denver with LT Max Starks – LG Willie Colon – C Maurkice Pouncey – RG Ramon Foster – RT Marcus Gilbert.