Injuries in the NFL happen and there is no way around them. You just hope that when the injury bug bites that none of them result in season ending when they happen.
The 2012 preseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers is certainly one that we will not soon forget as it resulted in the injury bug biting two top draft picks and a starting fullback.
David Johnson was the first to go down early in the first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a severe knee injury that resulted in him being out for the season.
Although no serious injuries took place in the second game against the Indianapolis Colts, we were all treated to the news right before the kickoff of the game that third year linebacker Stevenson Sylvester had torn the MCL in one of his knee during the final few days at Latrobe. While Sylvester is not out for the season, he did miss the remaining two games and it looks very doubtful that he will be back healthy a week for Sunday for the opener in Denver.
In the Steelers third preseason game against the Buffalo Bills last Saturday, the injury bug bit again as first round draft pick David DeCastro reportedly suffered a torn MCL, a dislocated knee cap and a damaged patellar tendon early in the game. Thankfully he did not tear his ACL, but he still will be sidelined for at least the first 8 weeks of the season, and maybe longer. The young right guard was looking good prior to injury happening and was on course to be the week one starter. Also injured against the Bills was starting running back Isaac Redman with an ankle injury and veteran defensive end Brett Keisel, also with an ankle injury. Neither injury was deemed serious, but they were bad enough to cause both players to sit out of practice all week as well as the game Thursday night.
The preseason mercifully came to an end Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers, but not without the injury bug sinking his teeth into three more Steelers players. Rookie linebacker Sean Spence appears to be done for the season after tearing up his left knee late in the third quarter. While Spence was not slated to start, he was all set to be a huge special teams contributor initially.
Also getting bit Thursday night were second year cornerback Curtis Brown and rookie free agent safety Robert Golden. Brown suffered a knee injury of some sorts, while Golden a hamstring injury. The severity of both were not known following the game, but the injury to Golden might very well wind up costing him a roster spot.
During the four game stretch of exhibitions, the bug took a bite out of Jonathan Dwyer, Mortty Ivy and a few others. Dwyer failed to miss time with his shoulder injury, but the hamstring injury suffered by Ivy last week resulted in him being waved injured. If Ivy was not slated to make the roster heading into the preseason finale, he certainly would have been a lock after Spence went down.
The Steelers ultimately won three of their four preseason games, but they would gladly trade those wins for the injury loses they endured. The big winner in the preseason was the injury bug. He never ages and always knows just were to bite to make it hurt the worst.
Hopefully that damn bug has had his fill for the time being with the Steelers, but I can guarantee you that we will see him again. I just hope he takes a year vacation first.