Both ‘questionable,’ but Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey more confident he’ll play than Joe Haden
Of the seven Pittsburgh Steelers starters who missed practice time because of injury or illness, five were cleared to play via the release of the final injury report of the week. Among the two that weren’t, the designation of “questionable” can have different interpretations.
Center Maurkice Pouncey and cornerback Joe Haden are the only Steelers starters whose status is in question for Sunday’s home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. But while Pouncey made it clear he believes he will play, and Haden was much more, well, questionable about it.
“Hopefully it just continues to get better in the next couple days,” Haden said of a shoulder he injured late in last week’s loss at New England, “and hopefully I can go.”
Haden did allow that his shoulder was “feeling better” – but moments later, he said he was “still feeling a little pain.”
Haden, Pouncey (ankle), receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) and linebacker T.J. Watt (hip) all were injured late during the lopsided defeat against the Patriots. Smith-Schuster and Watt each said he will play against the Seahawks, and that was backed up by the team-issued injury report.
Pouncey’s situation was not as clear. He was listed as questionable when the report was released late Friday afternoon – but when Pouncey spoke after practice, he made it sound as if he was anything but.
“I feel really good; I’m playing this week, so this can be a short interview,” Pouncey said after going through a practice for the first time this week.
Did the practice reveal any issues?
“None,” he said. “I feel really good.”
Safety Sean Davis will return to the lineup after missing the opener because of an ankle injury. Running back James Conner (illness), safety Terrell Edmunds (glute) and reserve offensive lineman Zach Banner (illness) all went through full practices Friday and will play Sunday despite missing some practice time this week.
The only player who was officially listed as “out” is special-teamer Roosevelt Nix (knee).
The Steelers could use their full roster to bounce back from a humiliating defeat, as Pouncey inferred: “Honestly… after last week, man, (heck), who wants to miss a game?”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .