PITTSBURGH — Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey told reporters on Friday that he’s ready to go for Sunday’s home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Pouncey said he was a full participant in Friday’s practice after suffering an ankle injury during Pittsburgh’s 33-3 season-opening loss at New England last Sunday. Pouncey did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
Cornerback Joe Haden, who also was a full participant in practice on Friday after not practicing on Wednesday and Thursday, admitted that he’s less than 100 percent with a right shoulder injury, but Haden still hopes to play on Sunday.
“It’s feeling better,” Haden said. “Hopefully, it continues to get better in the next couple of days and hopefully, I can go. It’s feeling pretty good. It’s getting better. It’s still a little bit of pain, but it is what it is.”
Haden said the biggest issue he’ll face when it comes to the level of pain with his shoulder will be tackling, something that could be an issue when facing Seattle’s run-heavy offense.
Safety Sean Davis, who missed the New England game with an ankle injury, also said he expects to play after being a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who left the New England game with a toe injury, also expects to play and said he’s gotten plenty of cuts in on his toe while chasing his dog, Boujee around his place.
Fullback Roosevelt Nix is expected to miss the game with a knee injury. The Steelers will release their full injury report later on Friday.
Steelers Injury Updates: JuJu Smith-Schuster Misses Second Straight Practice
Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro was a full participant during practice Thursday, while wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) did not practice for the second-straight day.
Smith-Schuster seemingly finished the Steelers’ Week 2 game against the Broncos without issue and was not among the players listed by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin as expected limited participants this week.
He also missed Wednesday’s practice last week, but practiced on Thursday and Friday before playing against Denver. His status for Sunday’s game will likely be resolved based on whether or not he can practice on Friday.
DeCastro missed the majority of training camp and the Steelers’ first two games of the season with a knee injury, but has now practiced for consecutive days, likely putting him in line to return this Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Wide receiver Diontae Johnson (toe) and defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (knee contusion) were full-go after missing practice on Wednesday with minor ailments. Both are coming off big games against the Denver Broncos last week.
Johnson caught eight passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, while Alualu posted five total tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey and defensive ends Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt also returned to the practice field after a scheduled day off Wednesday.
Center J.C. Hassenauer participated fully on Thursday, but has been added to the injury report with an ankle injury.
Steelers Injury Updates: David DeCastro Full Participant in Practice
Steelers guard David DeCastro returned to practice on Wednesday, but eight of his teammates did not, with at least one new injury amongst them.
DeCastro, who had been out since suffering a knee injury in a scrimmage in the second week of the Steelers training camp, was a full participant in practice on Wednesday in his first practice back to work.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster did not practice with a knee injury. Smith-Schuster was not named among the players expected to be limited participants this week by head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday.
It’s the second straight Wednesday that Smith-Schuster has missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee ailment. He was a full participant for the rest of the week last week and played against the Denver Broncos without an apparent issue.
Wide receiver Diontae Johnson (toe) and defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (knee contusion) were expected absences on Wednesday, while linebacker Bud Dupree (shoulder discomfort) practiced on Wednesday despite Tomlin warning that he might be limited this week. All are expected to play on Sunday.
Four more players — quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward — also did not practice. Their reason for missing practice listed by the team was “not injury related.”
Steelers Injury Updates: David DeCastro to Practice; 3 Regulars Limited
Injured Steelers guard David DeCastro is expected to return to practice this week, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday, while three other players could be limited during the week of work.
DeCastro suffered a knee injury during a training camp scrimmage and has not practiced with the team since. Tomlin said that whether DeCastro will be able to play on Sunday against the Houston Texans will depend on how his participation in practice this week goes.
The Steelers first replaced DeCastro with veteran Stefen Wisniewski, before Wisniewski was injured against the New York Giants and replaced by rookie Kevin Dotson.
Tomlin also said that defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (knee contusion), linebacker Bud Dupree (shoulder discomfort) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (toe) all could be limited in the early part of practice this week, but should be expected to play on Sunday.