Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told the media today RG David DeCastro will have surgery on his right knee Wednesday, fueling speculation the rookie will miss the remainder of the 2012 season after three preseason games.
The Steelers have until Friday to determine whether DeCastro will be placed on injured-reserve, a move that would shut the promising guard down for the year.
However, Tribune-Review reporter Mark Kaboly tweeted Monday the Steelers will not place DeCastro on the IR.
David DeCastro will not go on IR.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) August 27, 2012
Choosing to have him hold a roster spot would mean the Steelers would carry just 51 active players into Week 1, and possibly longer. RB Rashard Mendenhall, rehabilitating a knee injury of his own dating back to last season, is likely to miss the first few games this year. He won't be placed on IR, instead, the Steelers elected to keep him on the active roster but not play him until he's heathy.
DeCastro was injured early in the first quarter of the Steelers' 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills Saturday, and while he did not tear his ACL as originally feared, the damage may still be bad enough where his recovery would take several months.
Veteran Ramon Foster will start in place of DeCastro.
The Steelers may elect to keep one of several offensive linemen vying for roster spots right now, including Trai Essex and Chris Scott, two players considered on the bubble before the injury. It's possible they kick the tires on a free agent as well.
Most likely, though, keeping DeCastro on the active roster would mean the Steelers will keep just two quarterbacks. Both Charlie Batch and Jerrod Johnson would be released.
The deadline for teams to reduce their rosters to 53 players is 9 p.m. ET Friday.