The Pittsburgh Steelers began padded practices on Monday, and All-Pro guard David DeCastro has yet to participate in any of them. DeCastro has only missed 4 games since 2013 and has been a model of health and consistency throughout his career.
Looks like David DeCastro isn’t practicing again. We haven’t seen him in pads since practice opened to the media.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 22, 2020
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, did mention that DeCastro’s injury was a minor one and expected the veteran guard to join the team shortly.
Elsewhere on the OL, David DeCastro and Al Villanueva not in uniform for practice today. DeCastro also missed yesterday with what Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called a minor ailment.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 18, 2020
DeCastro has been one of the NFL’s best offensive lineman since he broke into the league back in 2012 and losing him for any amount of time would hurt this team. With the injuries to DeCastro and rookie guard Kevin Dotson, veteran free agent addition Stefen Wisniewski has picked up the additional practice reps.
The Steelers can survive without DeCastro in the lineup, but they are a considerably better team when he is on the field. Pro Football Focus consistently ranks DeCastro near the top of its offensive lineman rankings and even named DeCastro their top offensive lineman in 2018.
DeCastro is coming off 5 consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, and will push for a sixth consecutive all star game appearance in 2020. Starting the season on an injury list may hamper his chances of repeating as a Pro Bowl player for a sixth consecutive season.