Pouncey says injury won't sideline him for the Super Bowl
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey plans to play in Super Bowl XLV despite sustaining a high ankle sprain in a 24-19 win against the New York Jets.
Pouncey, the first Steelers rookie offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl since the 1950s, left the AFC Championship Game on the first possession after Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas fell on his left leg.
Pouncey did not return to the game but he said afterwards that he will play Feb. 6 against the Green Bay Packers in Dallas.
“I know in my heart that I'm playing in that game,” Pouncey said after the Steelers earned their third trip to the Super Bowl in the last six years. “I had the same injury before on my other ankle and I know how to attack it. I know how to approach things.”
The Steelers will likely hold Pouncey out of practice until they arrive in Dallas, and the 6-4, 304-pounder gets extra time to heal because of the bye both Super Bowl-bound teams receive next weekend.
Pouncey has started every game this season for the Steelers though he became the latest one to go down on a unit that has been besieged by injuries.
Despite the loss of Pouncey, the Steelers provided enough running room for Rashard Mendenhall to rush for 95 yards in the pivotal first half -- and 121 overall against the team that had the No. 3 rushing defense in the NFL during the regular season.
“They don't blink,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said when asked about the resiliency shown by the offensive linemen. “The standard is winning. It's not always as attractive as we would like, talking about the effort, but it is effort nonetheless. Today's effort was kind of a window to what it has been.”