Maurkice Pouncey Injures Ankle as Steelers Defeat Packers 24-19 to Win Preseason Home Opener

Finally the Pittsburgh Steelers have won one, although the Steelers 24-19 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers came at a high cost as Pittsburgh suffered multiple injuries.

While little detail is known about the severity of those injuries, top among the list appears to be one to starting Pro Bowl Center Maurkice Pouncey. During the first quarter Pouncey was blocking for Le’Veon Bell when the Packers Ha Ha Clinton-Dix rolled over Pouncey’s ankle while making a tackle. Pouncey walked off the field on his own power, but was later taken to the dressing room on the cart.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette, who appears to have fairly strong sources inside the Steelers medical department, shared this in-game update:

If the phrase “Maurkice Pouncey injures ankle” sounds familiar, it should.

Ankle injuries have been an issue for Pouncey throughout his career. Pouncey injured his ankle in the Steelersv 2010 AFC Championship victory over the New York Jets and saw Doug Legursky start Super Bowl XLV in his place.

A year later, Pouncey injured his ankle again vs. Cleveland in 2011. That injury forced Pouncey to miss the Steelers loss to San Francisco, and the same injury forced him to miss the Teebowing the Steelers suffered in Denver during the playoffs.

Following the game, Bouchette tweeted this, more ominous update:

Bouchette’s updates didn’t get any more positive:

If Bouchette’s report are confirmed, Pouncey is almost certain to miss the Steelers opener vs. New England several other games after that as Dejan Kovacevic reporting confirms:

Up until now, the Steelers have been relatively lucky on the injury front. The news that Maurkice Pouncey injured his ankle and needs surgery is not good, but at the very least the Steelers still have time to plan for it.

Pouncey Not the Only Injury Suffered by the Steelers vs. the Packers

The Steelers also suffered two other potentially significant injuries vs. the Packers. First back up quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who was seeing his first action of the preseason, left the game with an injury.

And starting defensive end Stephon Tuitt also left the game with and injury, although Ed Bouchette reports that his injury is not serious:

No more news has been released on Bruce Gradkowski, although any injury would be of concern to the Steelers, given that the Steelers only activated him from the PUP list 6 days ago.

Steelers Defense Goes on Sack Attack

One of the overriding concerns throughout the preseason has been the development of the Steelers defense in general, and their lack of ability to generate a pass rush has been a specific concern and one that Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler has spoken on the record about.

  • Taking things a level deeper, the Steelers have yet to see much this summer out of Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree, two first round picks drafted specifically to rush the passer.

The Steelers defense have heard the pleas of their coaches, and they responded in force vs. the Packers. James Harrison started the action for the Steelers, sacking Aaron Rogers for a safety on the Steelers second drive. This sparked and explosion by the rest of the Steelers defense, with Jarvis Jones, Bud Dupree each recording a sack, and they were joined by safeties Shamarko Thomas, Ian Wild, and newly acquired L.T. Fort.

Roethlisberger “Usual Self” Jones Rallies Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger saw limited action, but he completed 11 of his 14 passes including a 5 yard hook up with Markus Wheaton for the Steelers first score. Roethlisberger left the game in the second quarter, giving way to Gradkowski.

However, once Gradkowski left the game injured, in came Landry Jones. Jones has seen extensive work this preseason, one which he entered with a target on his back. Although Jones performance in two preseason games has drawn mixed reviews at best, he has been solid enough to drive Devin Gardner and Tajh Boyd off of the team.

Against the Packers, Jones led the Steelers to 17 unanswered points, as Pittsburgh erased a 19 to 9 deficit that ultimately saw them win the game 24 to 9. Jones connected with Tyler Murphy and Shakim Phillips for two touchdown passes.

The Steelers offense also enjoyed another strong showing from DeAngelo Williams, which is a good sign, as they’ll be without the services of Le’Veon Bell for the first two games of the season.

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