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.