NFL Rumors: Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Will Play Sunday Night Versus Cincinnati Bengals?

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey returned to practice for the first time this week on Thursday. Pouncey injured his right knee in last Thursday night’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The Pro Bowl center said that he feels optimistic about playing on Sunday night after being listed as questionable on the injured list earlier this week. Backup center Doug Legursky is expected to start in the place of Pouncey if he is unable to play.

The presence of the third-year veteran will greatly help a Steelers offensive line that has been banged up all season long. Pouncey is without a doubt the anchor of Pittsburgh’s offensive front, and their best lineman. The Steelers will already be without starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who will be replaced by unproven rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams.

Having Pouncey in the trenches will definitely make quarterback Ben Roethlisberger feel a little more comfortable in the pocket while facing a Bengals defense that has 20 sacks on the year so far, which is ranked second in the NFL.

The pass protection by the Steelers will be one of the most crucial elements for Pittsburgh when they travel to Cincinnati for their first divisional game of the season. With the likelihood of running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman not suiting up, the passing game will be highly depended on by the Steelers.

I believe if Pouncey is healthy enough to play on Sunday night, then Pittsburgh will have a much better chance of getting their first road win of the season, and will be in great shape within the AFC North.

However, I hope Pouncey isn’t rushing his return to the field. The three-year veteran has played at a Pro Bowl level since entering the league, but has yet to prove that he can stay off the injury list for an entire season.

It would be great to have Pouncey healthy for the mid-to-latter part of the season so that Pittsburgh can make a run for the now-wide-open AFC North. He is hands down one of the most important pieces to Pittsburgh’s championship puzzle.

Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller


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