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Steelers News: No guarantee David DeCastro returns to the lineup for Week 3

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Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Black-and-gold.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with disappointment for the second week in a row after the Kansas City Chiefs came into Heinz Field and dismantled the home team. Heading into Week 3, the team must slowly turn its attention away from the embarrassing loss and solely focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week-3, prime time matchup.

Today we focus on the health of one of the most important offensive players on the Steelers’ roster — David DeCastro. The Pro Bowl guard told reporters Monday he isn’t sure if he will be ready to play in Week 3 or not, making it seem far less than certain he will be back for the game in Florida next Monday night.

Luckily the Steelers have B.J. Finney to fill in, but Finney is no DeCastro.

Let’s get to the news:

Steelers’ David DeCastro unsure when he’ll return from broken hand

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Updated 6 hours ago

Watching from the sideline was a foreign concept for Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro guard David DeCastro. Until Sunday, he had not missed a game due to injury since the middle of the 2013 season, a string of 72 starts.

One day after the Steelers’ 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, DeCastro said it’s too early to determine whether his broken right hand will heal sufficiently for him to play next Monday night at Tampa Bay.

“I think it’s one of those things where they don’t tell you (the timetable) on purpose so I can just keep hoping that I’m going to play and trick myself into (thinking I’m) playing,” DeCastro said. “They never told me it’s going to be three week, it’s going to be one week, it’s going to be 10 weeks.

“It’s one of those things where you just try to do everything in your best power that day to heal it and you see where you are the next day and see if you can play. Ultimately, if I can do it, I’ll go. If I can’t, I can’t.”

DeCastro, who has worn a wrap on his hand while waiting for the swelling to subside, sat out all three practices last week after breaking his hand in the season opener at Cleveland. The Steelers resume practicing on Wednesday, the first of four in prepartion for the Week 3 matchup.

Steelers teammates left to answer questions about Antonio Brown’s latest antics

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Antonio Brown’s frustration was on full display Sunday at Heinz Field when television cameras caught him confronting Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and wide receivers coach Darryl Drake in the second half of a 42-37 loss to Kansas City.

One day later, Brown’s exasperation reached new heights when he went on Twitter and, in response to a former team employee’s criticism, the All-Pro wide receiver suggested he would welcome a trade.

“Trade me let’s find out,” Brown replied to a tweet from former Steelers public relations staffer Ryan Scarpino, who wrote that Brown wouldn’t have such eye-popping statistics if he didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger throwing the passes.

Brown’s tweet, which was posted Monday morning, has represented his only public comment in the aftermath of the Steelers’ loss in the home opener, a defeat that dropped their record to 0-1-1.

After catching nine passes for 67 yards — a total that ranked third on the team — and engaging his offensive coaches on the sideline, Brown hurriedly dressed and left the locker room as the media was permitted to enter. He was the only Steelers player active for the game to exit so hastily.

Brown also wasn’t in the locker room Monday afternoon during a 45-minute media availability, leaving other veteran players to answer questions about the wide receiver’s latest social media antics. Already since the start of training camp, he has called a veteran reporter a “clown” on Twitter and alleged he would break the jaw of another reporter whose story delved into his personal life.

“AB is a hell of a player, and I’m glad he plays for our team. It’s as simple as that,” defensive captain Cameron Heyward said. “I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the world.”

Heyward said he doesn’t agree with the perception that Brown puts his accomplishments ahead of the team. Brown hasn’t topped 100 yards receiving in either game this season. He has 18 catches for 160 yards and one touchdown. JuJu Smith-Schuster also has 18 catches and a touchdowns, but he has totaled 240 yards.

“Antonio gives 110 percent every single time,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about that. The dude loves football, and for anyone to even question that is besides the point.”

Steelers’ Vance McDonald emerges from ‘18 debut healthy, will ramp up playing time

Vance McDonald returned to game action Sunday. That he didn’t return completely to his former role was part of the plan.

The tight end did not start and played 45 percent of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive snaps in their 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It was McDonald’s first game of any kind since he had a career-best 10 catches in the Steelers’ playoff loss to Jacksonville last January.

McDonald missed from the fourth practice of training camp all the way through until last week (he practiced fully for the first time last Wednesday) because of a foot injury. The Steelers intend to gradually ramp up his workload.

“The plan was just all about health,” McDonald said. “Just trying to get successful weeks stacked on top of each other just to build. Get out of the game healthy to be able to go into this week same approach as last week and just build on it.”

McDonald said he emerged from the game healthy and intends on a full, uninhibited week of practice in advance the game next Monday night in Tampa.

Against the Chiefs, he played 37 snaps, getting targeted by five Ben Roethlisberger passes and catching three for 26 yards.

Ron Cook: Antonio Brown refuses to grow up

By: Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I feel sorry for Ben Roethlisberger because he has to deal with Antonio Brown.

That sounds crazy, right? Brown is the best wide receiver in football, the best in Steelers history, better than Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. I know all that. But despite his four-year, $68 million contract and his amazing statistics that had football experts comparing him to the incomparable Jerry Rice before the season, Brown still pouts when things — especially the ball — don’t go his way.

It certainly looks as if that puts Roethlisberger in a rough spot. Does he force the ball to Brown even when he is covered in an attempt to get him his precious catches and keep him in the game? Or does he go to the open receivers and risk having Brown zone out on him and the team, as he did against the Chiefs? That is a difficult line to walk.

It looked Sunday as if Roethlisberger tried to force the ball to Brown on more than a few occasions.

That is no way to win a game. The Steelers didn’t win this latest game, of course, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 42-37, a brutal home loss that left them with an 0-1-1 record.

Brown’s petulance was at its worst Sunday. I thought he grew up after he signed his monster contract in February 2017, one sideline tantrum in Baltimore last season aside.

But he clearly wasn’t happy that JuJu Smith-Schuster was targeted by Roethlisberger more times against the Chiefs and Smith-Schuster and Jesse James had more receiving yards. Smith-Schuster had 13 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown, James five catches for 138 yards and a touchdown, Brown nine catches on 17 targets for 67 yards.

It was bad enough that Brown got in offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s face in the second half, looking as if he wanted to break his jaw with a punch. Fichtner is a nice man and took it from Brown. Too bad emotionally aggressive Todd Haley still isn’t on the coaching staff. He would have gone right back after Brown. Certainly, that was needed at the moment.

But it was much worse that Brown appeared to be sulking when he walked off the field by himself after Roethlisberger scrambled for a touchdown that pulled the Steelers within five points and gave them a chance with 1:59 left.