It isn't often that the return of a first-round NFL Draft pick could be seen as a bad thing, but for the Pittsburgh Steelers and David DeCastro, that's the exact situation they find themselves in. With Pittsburgh's offensive line playing its best football of the year, what does the organization do with a now healthy DeCastro?
It's an interesting problem to have, but one that Mike Tomlin will be forced to address in the coming weeks. The Steelers are about to hit one of their toughest stretches of the season, with a trip to New York to face the Giants this weekend, followed by back-to-back home games against Kansas City and Baltimore beyond that.
Normally, the decision would be easy; Pittsburgh would simply plug DeCastro, the guard who they selected with the No. 24 pick of the 2012 draft, into the lineup and not think twice about it. Unfortunately, the process will be rushed, because the Steelers have only three weeks to decide whether to put him on their active roster or keep him on their injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
And to make matters even more complicated, Pittsburgh's offensive line has been fantastic of late. Against Washington on Sunday the Steelers accounted for 140 yards on the ground, and a week before against Cincinnati, they went for 167. Running back Jonathan Dwyer has gone for more than 100 yards in each of those two games.
Regardless, don't expect any decisions to be made this moment.
With DeCastro just recently activated this week, it seems unlikely that they will plug him into the lineup this Sunday, especially against a strong New York Giants defensive front. If anything, it seems more likely DeCastro would get his first reps two weeks from now against Kansas City.
But for Mike Tomlin, it does appear that a tough decision is coming.