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The NFL and NFL Players Association have come to an agreement to change the trade deadline and revise the injured reserve rule, according to a report by Adam Schefter.
While pushing back the trade deadline two weeks from Week 6 to the Tuesday following Week 8 will help all teams in the league, the revisions to the injured reserve rule has the potential to impact a few specific teams in the near future - and the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of them.
According to the initial reports, teams would be able to remove one player per season from IR as long as the player was placed on reserve after to Sept. 4 and suffered a "major injury." As of this time, it's unclear what defines a major injury or when the player would be eligible to return but it is believed that the midpoint of the season will be the starting point for eligibility.
As of this time, Mendenhall has been removed from the physically unable to perform list but is not expected to play in the first few weeks of the season and DeCastro has yet to be placed on IR. However, that could potentially change over the coming days.
With Pittsburgh Steelers' linebacker Jason Worilds being removed from the PUP list, the battle with Chris Carter for the backup position behind James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley rages on as the Steelers prepare for their Sept. 9 season opener against the Denver Broncos.
Worilds was the top backup last season but a wrist injury has kept him out of training camp. As a result, Carter has stepped up and competed hard in both practice and in the Steelers' preseason games. Behind the Steel Curtain blogger Neal Coolong makes a case for Carter to continue to be given an opportunity to play:
Carter has a nice step off the line, and looked competent enough in his pass rush where he could be an asset if he continues to develop along the same lines. It's a different story against the run, though. While he can't realistically be expected to anchor down against the run the way Harrison does - and has throughout his tenure with the Steelers - to legitimately compete for that top back-up position, he's going to have to get within the vicinity of that level.
James Harrison's plan to play in Pittsburgh's season opener Sept. 9 vs. Denver is looking good: the five-time Pro Bowler has been removed from the physically unable to perform list, as has his backup, Jason Worilds.
Harrison hasn't practiced throughout training camp due to a knee that required a minor arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago. He kept the season's first game in his sights the entire time, knowing that he would need to practice a few times before that. Meanwhile, Worilds, Harrison's expected backup, has also been on the PUP with an injured wrist, while 2011 fifth-round pick Chris Carter has played in their absence. Neither will play in the team's preseason finale Thursday, but both will be able to begin practicing Monday and most likely play in the team's first game of the regular season.
Meanwhile, the team waived running back Jason Ford in order to open up a roster spot for Mike Wallace, as he returns from his holdout.
DeCastro is scheduled to undergo surgery on his right knee on Wednesday to repair an injury he sustained during the team's game against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night. It was originally described as potentially severe, but now appears to be less threatening.
Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette:
"It's sad, man, to see that happen," center Maurkice Pouncey said of DeCastro's injury, which occurred in the first quarter of Saturday night's game in Buffalo. "But it's a good thing it ain't season-ending. He'll be able to fight back toward the end of the year. He doesn't look down about it. He's accepted what happened and ready to move forward with it."
Pouncey also stated that DeCastro had not torn his ACL, which he viewed as a "major" development. Coach Mike Tomlin would not discuss the injury nor the team's plans for the rehab program.
For more updates on DeCastro's injury and all the Steelers roster moves, head over to Behind the Steel Curtain.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie offensive guard David DeCastro will likely not be placed on injured reserve this season, according to a report from Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. DeCastro suffered what instantly looked like a severe knee injury during the Steelers' third preseason game against the Bills. The final diagnosis was a torn MCL, damage to the patellar tendon, and a dislocated knee cap. He's slated to have surgery on Wednesday.
The recovery time from the surgery was initially estimated at three to five months, but Kaboly writes that the Steelers are hopeful that DeCastro will return for the second half of the season. Pittsburgh offensive line coach Sean Kugler said he thinks the rookie will be back this year:
"Fortunately, he's not done for the year," Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler told Trib Total Media. "It is going to be a long comeback for him, but just the fact that it wasn't something devastating that ended his year (is positive.)"
"I think David will be back this year, and he's intent on doing that; I know that," Kugler said.
DeCastro was almost certainly going to open the season as the starting right guard. Kugler alluded to his "unbelievable progress" during the month of August and indicated as much. While his entire 2012 season may not be lost as originally feared, he'll be on the shelf for at least the first half. Ramon Foster is expected to replace him.
Keeping DeCastro off IR will mean the Steelers enter the season with 51 active players (Rashard Mendenhall is also rehabbing an injury). SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain suspects this could mean Mike Tomlin opts to go with only two quarterbacks, likely leading to the release of Charlie Batch and Jerrod Johnson.
For more updates on the DeCastro's injury and all the Steelers roster moves, head over to Behind the Steel Curtain.
The Steelers have made the cuts necessary to bring their roster to 75 for the first round of NFL roster cuts, leaving kicker Danny Hrapmann and Mortty Ivy, who played in six games for Pittsburgh last season, packing their bags.
Here's the full list as tweeted by Bob Labriola:
Cuts: LB Ryan Baker, DT Mike Blanc, WR Paul Cox, CB Andre Freeman, K Dan Hrapmann, LB Mortty Ivy, T Kyle Jolly, LS Matt Katula— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) August 27, 2012
More cuts: CB Walter McFadden, TE Justin Peelle, TE Jamie McCoy, S Myron Rolle, WR Juamorris Stewart, DT Kade Weston, WR Jimmy Young— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) August 27, 2012
Hrapmann was giving Shaun Suisham a run for his money after going 6-for-6 in preseason play, but it apparently wasn't enough to make the squad. Myron Rolle is an interesting name, as the former sixth-rounder turned heads for accepting a Rhodes Scholarship after graduating from Florida State, but he hasn't found his way onto an active NFL roster yet. Justin Peelle has had a decent career including long stints with the Dolphins and Chargers, but the tight end only had one reception for San Francisco last year. He had seemed like he had potential to make the roster with a suspension to tight end Weslye Saunders, but him being cut opens the door for David Paulson, who, like Peelle, went to Oregon.
Next week, the Steelers will add another 12 names to this list as their roster needs to be at 53 by the start of the regular season.
For more updates on the Steelers' roster cuts as they trim their roster, head over to Behind the Steel Curtain.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie right guard David DeCastro could miss three to five months with his torn MCL, dislocated kneecap and partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee, according to a report. His ACL is reportedly intact. The official diagnosis on DeCastro is expected on Monday.
DeCastro sustained the injuries when teammate Marcus Gilbert fell on his leg during the Steelers' 38-7 preseason win over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. DeCastro was carted off the field after the play occurred on the second Steelers' drive of the game.
DeCasto was the No. 24 pick out of Stanford in the 2012 NFL Draft. Early in the preseason, the Steelers had thought of DeCastro as a regular-season starter but, depending on the results of his diagnosis, he could potentially miss the entire season.
Brutal news out of Pittsburgh today. Steelers first-round guard David DeCastro could miss the entire 2012 season an MCL tear suffered during preseason action against the Buffalo Bills. DeCastro was carted off the field after his right leg was bent backwards as he attempted to block a Buffalo pass rusher in Pittsburgh's own end zone. Head coach Mike Tomlin hinted after the contest that the injury may be severe; on Sunday, his fears were confirmed.
In addition to being terrible news for a young player just beginning his career, this leaves the entire Pittsburgh offensive line in dire straits. DeCastro was considered the most NFL-ready Steelers rookie since center Maurkice Pouncey.
Fellow rookie lineman Mike Adams does not appear ready to take on NFL caliber pass rushers and is battling some (infinitely less severe) knee issues of his own, leaving Max Starks to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's blind side at left tackle. Meanwhile, with and without DeCastro last night, the interior line struggled against the Bills' terrific front four. Willie Colon was pushed backwards by defenders from both guard spots (he took DeCastro's spot on the left side following the injury, while Ramon Foster settled in at left guard). Pouncey was also exposed a few times in limited action and hasn't appeared to be a truly dominant player since his rookie year. That leaves second-year man Marcus Gilbert, who is solid but unspectacular, at right tackle. Doug Legursky and Mike Adams will play roles as the primary backups for the interior and tackle spots, respectively.
This is a shaky unit at best. Except Todd Haley's offense to incorporate even more quick strikes in the passing game—we saw plenty of those in last night's dress rehearsal—to help mask what should be suspect protection.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie David DeCastro suffered a serious injury in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, and Ben Roethlisberger says it's the FieldTurf at Ralph Wilson Stadium to blame. DeCastro went down in the first half as his knee was bent sideways. He is reported to have an MCL tear, with doctors believing a season-ending ACL tear is a possibility.
Neal Coolong at SB Nation's Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain, examined Roethlisberger's claim:
While it's certainly a concern with others in the league, it's fair to point out the Steelers' starters have suffered four significant knee injuries in their last five games - NT Casey Hampton and LT Max Starks at Denver in last year's playoffs, and RB Rashard Mendenhall in Week 17 at Cleveland before DeCastro went down Saturday - but only DeCastro's came on FieldTurf.
DeCastro is expected to miss at least half the regular season. With a string of devastating knee injuries, Roethlisberger and his teammates may be looking for any answer they can find.
Steelers rookie David DeCastro will miss at least half the season after suffering a knee injury in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. DeCastro, the 24th pick overall in April's draft, was projected to be a starter on the offensive line for Pittsburgh, but now the team is forced to look elsewhere. The most likely replacement is Ramon Foster, a fourth-year player out of the University of Tennessee.
Foster has played in 41 games since coming to the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He has logged 26 career starts, including 14 a season ago. He was Pittsburgh's best pass blocker in 2011, according to Steelers Depot.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie David DeCastro could potentially miss the entire season after suffering a knee injury in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. The 2012 first-round pick was carted off after having his knee bent sideways near the goal line in the first half.
The knee injury is confirmed as an MCL tear, but team doctors are still investigating whether or not there was damage to the ACL, Adam Schefter reported on Sunday. ACL tears have a longer recovery time than MCLs, and that would keep DeCastro out for all of 2012. If only the MCL is hurt, a return this season would be likely.
Coach Mike Tomlin was cautious when describing the injury:
"It’s potentially severe, but we’ll see what the MRI says," Tomlin said of DeCastro’s injury.
DeCastro was an All-American at Stanford and the No. 24 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the 38-7 on Saturday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Unfortunately, the big story was a sad one for the winning team. Rookie left guardleft the field on a cart in the 1st quarter with what the Steelers are calling a right knee injury for now. DeCastro was injured when trying to block defensive tackle after being pushed back by before falling on top of his own leg.
Speaking of Leftwich, the ex-Jaguar started the second half for the Steelers and was excellent, completing 5-of-8 for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
The only negative for the offense was a non-existent rushing attack early on. At one point, Pittsburgh could only manage 47 yards on 26 carries before exploding in the 4th quarter. Chris Rainey found the endzone on the longest run of the game, a 41-yard scamper.
The defense played very well, within the 3rd quarter.
Backup quarterback Byron Leftwich started the second half for the Steelers and came out hot, completing all three of his passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Antonio Brown continued his tremendous effort into the 3rd quarter, hauling in two Leftwich throws including a beautiful 39-yard touchdown.
On the disappointing side of things, rookie left guard David DeCastro had to leave the action in the 1st quarter with what is being called a right knee injury. DeCastro was carted off the field after being pushed back by Marcell Dareus and falling on top of his leg.
On the field, the offense has been solid except for the total lack of a rushing attack. On the night, Pittsburgh has gained just 32 yards on 19 carries.
However the main story isn't the score for Steelers fans but the injury to rookie left guard David DeCastro. The Stanford product was injured in the first quarter and taken off the field on a cart after getting his right leg caught below him. For now, Pittsburgh is calling it a right knee injury.
Isaac Redman also had to briefly leave the field with a stinger, but has since returned and gained just 24 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger has solid completing 17-of 24 passes for 168 yards. Antonio Brown is having himself a nice night, hauling in five passes for 47 yards and a score. Jonathan Dwyer is also contributing with 40 receiving yards.
Defensively, Pittsburgh has allowed just 34 yards to Fred Jackson on the ground, albeit on seven attempts. The only Bills points came on a one-yard Jackson plunge.
Unfortunately that's not the worst news to come from the game. Rookie guard and first-round pick David DeCastro had to be carted off the field after getting his right leg trapped under him on a bull-rush by Marcell Dareus. It's currently being called a right knee injury.
Isaac Redman also had to leave the game with a stinger but has already returned to action.
On the score sheet, neither team has been able to muster much offense. Ben Roethlisberger is 5-for-11 with 34 yards while Ryan Fitzpatrick has aired it out for 65 yards on five completions. The lone touchdown belongs to Fred Jackson, who has looked sharp early for the Bills, gaining 24 yards.
Antonio Brown is leading all Pittsburgh receivers in the game, amassing 25 yards on two receptions.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are holding their collective breath after first-round pick David DeCastro got carted off the field in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills. The injury appeared to be a right foot/leg issue.
DeCastro was the highest-rated guard coming into the 2012 NFL Draft and is expected to be a starter for the black and gold when the season gets underway.
One of the biggest problems in recent years has been the protection (or lack of) for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. With DeCastro potentially out of the lineup, Pittsburgh would have to shuffle the deck with reserve players.
The Steelers are already without Rashard Mendenhall and have seen second round selection Mike Adams struggle early on. Between all of this and the addition of Todd Haley’s new offensive scheme, Pittsburgh fans are anxiously waiting to see the result.
As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take on the Buffalo Bills Saturday night in preseason action, several key pieces of the Pittsburgh roster remain on the sideline. Steelers Depot gives a complete injury report, but in the case of at least two names on the list fans can perhaps remain hopeful for an early season return:
RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee) - The running back was removed from the PUP list last Friday and he has only reportedly been working in the individual drills portion of practices. Mendenhall will not pay at all during the preseason and he is unlikely to be ready for the opener against Denver as well. Tomlin listed the running back as a player that wouldn't even make the trip to Buffalo.
NT Casey Hampton (knee) - Hampton came off the Active PUP list with Mendenhall last Friday and he revealed this past week that he recently had his left elbow fixed in addition. Hampton is still eying the opener for his return. Although the veteran nose tackle did travel with the team to Buffalo, it would be shocking if he played.
For more on the Steelers, head over to Behind The Steel Curtain and stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on the Bills, check out Buffalo Rumblings. Follow the rest of Preseason Week 3 action at SB Nation NFL.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday in Week 3 of the 2012 NFL Preseason. Mike Wallace (contract) and Rashard Mendenhall (knee) will miss the game for the Steelers.
Mike Wallace isn't likely to be traded to the Indianapolis Colts, according to the Pittsburgh Steelers blog Steelers Depot. Colts owner Jim Irsay kicked off a storm of speculation with some excited tweeting on Thursday.
SERIOUS TRADE WINDS Swirling! We're talking given up high pick for SERIOUS Vet/Starter!.. these deals often crumble n don't reach completion— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) August 23, 2012
However, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has been adamant that the team has no plans to trade Wallace. Reports indicate that the disgruntled wideout will sign his $2.742 million tender offer and report to Pittsburgh after this weekend. Once he's back with the team, the Steelers have said they can renew contract negotiations with Wallace.
Jerrod Johnson likely won't see the field when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Buffalo Bills this Saturday. The third preseason game is generally regarded by NFL coaches as the last chance to see the starters in action before the regular season begins. Johnson, currently the fourth quarterback on the depth chart, is too far out of the starting picture to earn playing time.
The Steelers clearly like what they have in Johnson, an athletic second-year quarterback out of Texas A&M, but, according to SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain, the Steelers are unlikely to keep him on the practice squad as a fourth quarterback. Reps are too precious to split among four players.
Pittsburgh has three other options: Release Johnson, trade him, or have him join the practice squad at another position.
The last scenario was put forth by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette while talking to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Thursday. The Steelers could stash Johnson as a wide receiver or tight end while he studies the offense, and use his athleticism to help the team prepare for upcoming opponents. Johnson could then come back next season and compete once again for a roster spot at quarterback.
While intriguing, there hasn't been any indication that Johnson or the Steelers are in favor of any kind of position switch. Instead, expect to see Johnson play most, if not all, of the team's final preseason game as a showcase to other franchises of his talents.
Max Starks will return from offseason knee surgery against the Bills, while Isaac Redman's hip injury apparently won't bother him enough to keep him out of the starting lineup for the Steelers' preseason game against the Bills.
Redman is holding down the starting spot for Rashard Mendenhall, who is still working back into playing shape after hurting his ACL at the end of last season. However, the hip issue made Pittsburgh's already tenuous running back position seem even more shaky. But it seems as if it won't bother him enough to make him sit out against Buffalo and that he'll be fine for the regular season opener, in which Mendenhall will not play. Also missing the Buffalo game due to injury will be backup running back Jason Ford, who is down a ways on the depth chart. It's still unclear when Mendenhall will be fully ready for playing time.
Starks, who had held down the left tackle spot for Pittsburgh before injury last year, was on the PUP list for much of training camp but is now in playing form, and therefore will take the spot from rookie Mike Adams. Starks' presence is no doubt important to the Steelers this season, as they won't have to depend on a rookie to protect Ben Roethlisberger's blind side.
Four players will not be making the trip to Buffalo for the Pittsburgh Steelers third preseason game on Saturday night.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play at least one half Saturday against the Buffalo Bills, head coach Mike Tomlin told the Pittsburgh media on Thursday. Roethlisberger will get a majority of the snaps among the three quarterbacks in the road contest, as Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch will serve as the team's backups. Jerrod Johnson, who served as the third string quarterback in Pitt's last two contests, will not play.
This will be the last time during the preseason Roethlisberger will see this much action, as the final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, Aug. 30, will more than likely feature a battle for the backup positions between Leftwich, Batch and Johnson.
Leftwich and Batch are the favorites to keep their roster spots over Johnson.
For more on the Steelers game vs. Buffalo, check back to this SB Nation Pittsburgh StoryStream. Meanwhile, Behind The Steel Curtain is all about the Steelers.
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