- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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When the Steelers used their first two picks on offensive linemen, there was hope that Pittsburgh would reduce the hits on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as well as the number of lineup changes.
Two weeks before the Steelers line up against the Broncos, the plans of adding new blood to the weakest part of the team's offense has changed.
Right guard David DeCastro, the Steelers' first-round pick, dislocated his knee cap, tore his medial collateral ligament and suffered some damage to his patellar tendon, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. DeCastro's anterior cruciate ligament is intact, but the Steelers are unsure whether he'll return this year after the results of the MRI.
At the start of training camp, there was the potential of starting two rookies, DeCastro and second-round pick Mike Adams. The idea was to go with Adams at left tackle, Willie Colon at left guard, Maurkice Pouncey at center, DeCastro at right guard and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. Now, with the DeCastro injury and the slow progression of Adams, neither rookie is expected to start the regular-season opener.
The Steelers are essentially back to the same starting lineup as last year with Max Starks at left tackle and Ramon Foster at right guard. The only difference is Colon, who was hurt all of last year, at left guard.
Based on Saturday night's preseason game, the Steelers have to be concerned with the current state of the offensive line, which continually got pushed around by the physical Bills defensive front. Colon and Foster couldn't drive their defenders off the ball, and Starks didn't look confident in his first game back since his ACL surgery. The Steelers might have to stick to this quick-hitting passing game that they've shown in the preseason to limit the shots on Roethlisberger.