Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey suffered an ankle injury — a high ankle sprain, to be exact — early in the AFC Championship Game, but says it won’t keep him out of Super Bowl XLV. A defender, Jets LB Bryan Thomas, rolled up on the back of Pouncey’s ankle as the center’s attentions were engaged elsewhere. Pouncey:
I know in my heart that I’m playing in that game. I had the same injury before on my other ankle and I know how to attack it. I know how to approach things.
Pouncey, a rookie, was named to the AP NFL All-Pro second team and the Pro Bowl. Backup Doug Legursky filled in ably, but the loss of Pouncey seemed most apparent on a bobbled snap late in the game that resulted in a safety and continued the New York Jets second-half rally.
The injury will likely force him to miss practice time. He started all 16 games this season, and his only struggles came early in the year when Pittsburgh had to file through quarterbacks rapidly in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence.