It has now been confirmed that Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will not play in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday.
Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain during the AFC title game on Jan. 23, and the Steelers were hoping that he would recover in time to play in Sunday’s game.
But, because Pouncey did not practice on Friday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has said he will not play. Doug Legursky will replace him in the starting lineup. It will be Legursky’s first NFL start at center.
Pouncey, a rookie, was selected to the Pro Bowl this year and was also a Second Team All-Pro selection.
It is a huge loss for the Steelers, whose main offensive focus will be stunting the pass rush of the Green Bay Packers. Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji has come of age in this postseason and should cause problems for Legursky.
Additionally, the quarterback-center exchanges could become a huge issue for the Steelers, as Legursky and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger botched several during the AFC title game after Pouncey went out.
Legursky, who was born in Frankfurt, Germany, seemingly out of nowhere now becomes a central figure in the intrigue of Super Bowl XLV. The world will be paying serious attention to a third-year player out of Marshall, who wasn’t even drafted.
In college Legursky was a three-time All-Conference USA selection. He was originally signed by the Steelers on April 28, 2007, but was released on June 28, 2008. Then, he was re-signed on August 2, 2008, before being released again 28 days later. He was then signed to the Steelers’ practice squad on October 1, 2008 (can the Steelers please make up their mind on this guy? Geez.) He was then re-signed to the Steelers full squad on February 12, 2009 and has been on the roster ever since.
He is listed as a member of the team’s Super Bowl XLIII champion team, but is technically only in his second year in the NFL (because of his practice squad time).
Additionally, it’s important to note that he is officially listed as a guard. He started four games in 2010, all of which were at the guard position.