Center Maurkice Pouncey missed the end of the Steelers’ 2019 season with a knee injury suffered in the team’s Week 16 loss to the New York Jets.
On Thursday, Pouncey revealed the nature of that injury as a torn meniscus and said that the took medical advice against a surgery, instead rehabbing his knee over the offseason.
“I could have gotten surgery, but they wanted me to rehab it and see how things played out with it,” Pouncey said. “Being an older player, that is kind of like your lubrication for your joints. I think it was a smarter decision just to rehab it throughout the offseason. I had a lot of time to work and get myself strong in that area. I kind of got lucky with the aspect of it not being a lingering issue, so hopefully it stays that way throughout the season. We will see how things turn out.”
Pouncey missed some time at the beginning of Steelers training camp due to a death in his family, but has otherwise been a full participant in the action at Heinz Field.
The veteran center is 31 years old and is entering his 11th season in the NFL, and has had several majors injuries over his career. He tore his right ACL and MCL in the 2013 season opener and missed the rest of that season. He suffered a broken fibula in a preseason game in 2015 that caused him to miss that entire year.
But the combination of age and injuries does not have Pouncey thinking too strongly about hanging up his cleats just yet. He has two seasons remaining on his contract, and did not commit to an end date to his reign as the Steelers center.
“I just think for me personally, it is all about having fun and enjoying it,” Pouncey said. “For me, contract is not an issue, years in the league is not an issue. I think for me, it’s just everyday I’m coming in and I’m enjoying it still. I think that the fact that the guys that we are bringing up, we have a good young group. The guys are still motivated, and I feel like I can still do it at a very high level. Until somebody proves me otherwise, then I will be playing.”
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Has Ankle Bruise, Says He Won’t Miss Playing Time
Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson said that he has an ankle bruise and should not miss any playing time after he left the Steelers’ game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in the fourth quarter.
Johnson left the game after competing a crucial first down as the Steelers were looking to seal the game offensively, but after he left, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception, and the Steelers had to sweat out a long Stephen Gostkowski field goal before coming away with the win.
Johnson was crucial to the winning effort, as he scored two touchdowns and led the Steelers with 15 targets, which he turned into nine catches for 80 yards.
He has dealt with several injury issues this season. Johnson suffered a back injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 and missed the Steelers’ Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns, but was able to return to practice in the week leading up to the Titans game. He has also dealt with a nagging toe issue throughout the 2020 season.
Through five games played, Johnson has 24 catches for 227 and three touchdowns.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Leaves Game vs. Titans in 4th Quarter
Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson left his team’s Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans with an injury on Sunday afternoon.
Johnson was injured while picking up a critical first down late in fourth quarter.
He left the game after making nine catches on 15 targets for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson suffered a back injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 and missed the Steelers’ Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns, but was able to return to practice in the week leading up to the Titans game. In his first four games, Johnson had 15 catches for 147 and one touchdown.
He has also dealt with a nagging toe issue throughout the 2020 season.
Steelers ILB Robert Spillane Leaves Game after Big Hit
Inside linebacker Robert Spillane left the Steelers Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans with an injury on Sunday afternoon.
Spillane made a huge hit on a goal line stop against Titans running back Derrick Henry, but left the game, while gesturing toward his left shoulder and collarbone area.
— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) October 25, 2020
Second-year linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III replaced Spillane in the Steelers’ lineup.