Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will not play in the Super Bowl, coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Friday.
Pouncey injured his ankle in the AFC Championship game and although he’s been in a walking boot most of the week, he insisted he had a 75 percent chance of playing Sunday.
He didn’t practice on Friday, which ended whatever chance he had.
The Steelers will go with Doug Legursky at center. Legursky will be charged with making the protection calls and blocking Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji.
Pouncey’s absence should limit the Steelers rushing game, which is keyed by Rashard Mendenhall. Pouncey was adept at pulling, which often helped Mendenhall get to the second level of opposing defenses.
The Steelers will also have to pick their poison on passing downs by either double teaming Raji and taking their chances with the Packers’ blitz or hoping Legursky can handle the big man by himself.
Either way, advantage Green Bay.
Nice act put on by the Steelers, when short of a whitelighter healing him, Pouncey was never going to play.
This probably affects the passing game and the blitz calls more than anything. However, Legursky does have the advantage of 2 weeks of practice.
Mendenhall ran alright against the Jets, and Pouncey missed most of that game.
This is no big deal. They did most of their scoring last week without Pouncy.