Updated: Sep 19
The Steelers have officially ruled David DeCastro (knee) and Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral) out for Sunday's game against Denver. Rookie Kevin Dotson will start at right guard. DeCastro and Wisnewski did not practice at all this week. DeCastro missed most of training camp and hasn't practiced since Aug. 28. Wisniewski could miss 3-4 weeks, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This afternoon Wisniewski was placed on the reserve/injured list after suffering a pectoral injury on Monday night against the Giants. The team in a corresponding move promoted tackle Derwin Gray from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Grey signed a reserve/future contract at the end of the 2019 season after he spent the 2019 season on the Steelers' practice squad.
"There's always going to be a little angst there, but again, this is professional football. These guys are professional about their work," Randy Fichtner said of Dotson. "I may have a little more gray hair thinking about it, but in no way that we put anybody that's a part of our roster that I won't get a good night sleep because I trust them.
"He's naturally really strong. I don't know how better to say it. He is just a naturally strong, tough-minded guy. The natural thing for him to do is get physical with somebody. Now, match the technique and fundamentals of a young player that makes his job so important and allows you to really achieve better and great successes at your position. Those are going to have to come with time. He is working hard, and he has been available. I'm excited for him to get his opportunity."
Mike Tomlin also has some angst about rookie Kevin Dotson making his first career start, but understand that it's their job as coaches to put him in the best position to succeed.
"He's a young guy who hasn't had a lot of work throughout this process because of injury and lack of availability," Mike Tomlin said of Dotson. "There is some angst there, so if he is called upon this week, it is going to take a tremendous effort by him and by us. And by us, I mean us putting him in the very best position to perform, so there is some dual responsibility there."
Dotson was selected by the Steelers in the fourth round at 135th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Dotson was a 2019 Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Focus first-team All-American who made 52 starts in his college career. Five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey will line up over Dotson on Sunday.
James Conner suffered a left ankle injury against the Giants on Monday night and left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Conner missed Wednesday's practice but has been a full participant at practice for the second consecutive day, which means he will be good to go for Sunday.
"I keep on getting treatment on it, feeling it out," Conner said. "But it's definitely trending in the right direction.