The Steelers don’t believe rookie first-round pick David DeCastro’s right knee injury was as severe as initially feared.
DeCastro is scheduled for surgery Wednesday to repair a torn medial collateral ligament. Coach Mike Tomlin said he and the Steelers are not discussing detailed plans for DeCastro’s roster spot until the surgery is complete.
All signs point to the Steelers saving a roster spot for DeCastro and not placing him on season-ending injured reserve. Since he was injured in training camp, he’s not eligible to go to the physically unable to perform list.
The top-ranked interior lineman in the 2012 draft, DeCastro was drafted 24th overall and immediately installed as a starter by Tomlin. He didn’t adapt as easily as expected and is not guaranteed to return to the first team when healthy.
Depending on his recovery and acclimation to the offense, it’s possible DeCastro could return to bump right guard Ramon Foster back to the bench by Week 5 against the Eagles on Oct. 7. In that scenario, DeCastro would miss only three games. The Steelers’ bye week is Week 4, Sept. 30.