Mike Tomlin shed some light on the statuses of some of Pittsburgh’s injured players at his press conference earlier this afternoon, and the news is not what one would call “good.” Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared the following information via Twitter:
Tomlin: Beachum r knee sprain, questionable for game. DeCastro l foot sprain, questionable. Keisel out, took a step backward in game Thurs
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 3, 2013
Already working with a skeleton crew along their offensive line, the Steelers can ill afford to have their starting left tackle and starting right guard absent for such a crucial game this Sunday.
Kelvin Beachum has done an adequate job protecting Ben Roethlisberger’s blind-side since he replaced Mike Adams earlier this season, and Pittsburgh has nobody else on their roster at the moment who can step in and play the position as well as the former S.M.U. Mustang. While the team could turn back to Adams, he left Thursday’s game as well with an injury, and Beachum’s absence could press Guy Whimper into the starting lineup.
The loss of David DeCastro, who has probably been the team’s most effective offensive lineman this season, could really expose the team’s lack of depth along the interior of their offensive line. The Steelers could be in an enormous bind if David DeCastro sits, especially since Cody Wallace is the team’s new starting center and Whimper is the first in line to replace Beachum.
I will say that the absence of Keisel will be less significant than the absence of either Beachum or DeCastro though. Ziggy Hood has played some quality football as of late in “The Beard’s” place (13 tackles and 1.0 sack), and it makes no sense to rush the veteran back into action if he is neither 100 percent healthy nor capable of turning in a performance better than Hood’s. Nevertheless, it never hurts any team to have quality and veteran depth at their disposal when it is the month of December.
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