The Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the preseason was marred by an injury to one of their key players in Maurkice Pouncey, who hurt his left ankle and may undergo surgery, according to reports.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said via ESPN that Pouncey’s injury would likely require surgery. The 26-year-old Pouncey suffered the injury during the first quarter on a running play and was carted off the field after the incident. The team has not officially announced the result of the X-rays taken but a surgery is expected to put the four-time NFL Pro Bowler out of commission for an extended period if he goes under the knife.
Pouncey, who is considered one of the premier centers in the league, has started all of his 62 career games with the Steelers. He was a first round pick by the Steelers in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Pouncey signed a five-year, $44 million contract with Pittsburgh last year making him the highest-paid center at that time. He suffered a knee injury in 2013 but has recovered nicely making the Pro Bowl team the following year. Seven-year pro Cody Wallace is expected to fill in the position while Pouncey is out.
"That's what I'm here for. That's my job," Wallace said to ESPN. "They brought me in here to be the backup interior guy, and I embrace that role. If it comes to having to step up for a period of time, I'd be happy to do that. I just try to be as physical as I can."
The Steelers are currently 1-2 in the preseason with losses to Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars and a victory over the Packers. They will finish their preseason schedule against the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers before their season opener against the New England Patriots.