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Sunday, August 26, 2012
DeCastro extends injury streak for top picks

By Jamison Hensley

There's a chance that Steelers first-round pick David DeCastro is done for the season after suffering a right knee injury in Saturday night's 38-7 preseason win at Buffalo. "It's potentially severe," coach Mike Tomlin said after the game. "We'll see what the MRI says."

The rest of the division says: Welcome to the club, Steelers.

With DeCastro getting hurt, the top pick for each AFC North team has now been injured for an extended period. Browns running back Trent Richardson (knee), Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) all missed a large chunk of training camp and have yet to start a game in the preseason.

Richardson, the third overall pick who had his knee scoped Aug. 9, is expected to play in the regular-season opener, albeit in a limited role. Kirkpatrick, the 17th pick of the 2012 draft, hurt himself before reporting to camp and just began practicing a week ago. Upshaw, a second-round pick, was out for seven days in camp and has yet to unseat Albert McClellan for the rush linebacker job since his return.

The difference with DeCastro is that his injury might leave him sidelined for his entire rookie season. After having a rough start to camp, DeCastro has looked more than solid in the preseason. Now, after watching his right knee bent awkwardly, the Steelers will have to wait for the MRI to see if they'll get him back this season.

While this continues the bad luck for the top picks in the division, it also could extend the Steelers' rough streak with knee injuries. Since the regular-season finale on Jan. 1, Pittsburgh has seen four starters (running back Rashard Mendenhall, offensive tackle Max Starks, nose tackle Casey Hampton and fullback David Johnson) suffer torn anterior cruciate ligaments.