Maurkice Pouncey likely to undergo ankle surgery


Football's unforgiving injury bug turned Sunday's preseason tilt between the Steelers and Packers into a bloodbath.

While Green Bay is dealing with Jordy Nelson's potentially torn ACL, the Steelers are preparing for life without center Maurkice Pouncey, who was carted off the field with a left ankle injury.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters after Pittsburgh's 24-19 win that Pouncey is likely to undergo surgery, according to NFL Media's Albert Breer. Tomlin refused to give a timeline on how long the sixth-year center might be out, but Breer reported that Pouncey suffered a broken bone in his ankle. The Steelers remain hopeful that he'll return this season.

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It's a massive loss for the Steelers, who saw Pouncey limp off the field in the opening quarter after his leg was rolled up on while throwing a block for runner Le'Veon Bell. Cody Wallace jumped in to replace Pouncey, who started all 16 games last year after missing 15 starts in 2013 with a torn ACL and MCL.

The Steelers boast one of the league's most high-powered attacks, but their success hinges on protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Losing Pouncey turns this improved front five into an average bunch.

Pittsburgh also saw Stephon Tuitt carted off with a sprained ankle, with Tomlin saying that the defensive lineman would likely miss a couple weeks. All in all, a ghastly afternoon for both the Steelers and Packers.

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