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Tomlin: Pouncey has chance to return this season

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Pittsburgh hasn't given up on Maurkice Pouncey rejoining the lineup later this fall.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Thursday that the Pro Bowl center has a chance to return for the second half of the season, per ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler. Tomlin emphasized that Pouncey's status depends entirely on how he heals after surgery.

The expectation is that Pittsburgh will roll Pouncey onto IR Boomerang after he suffered a left ankle injury in Sunday's preseason tilt against the Green Bay Packers. If that plan plays out, the veteran lineman would be eligible to return to the lineup in Week 9.

In Pouncey's absence, eighth-year center Cody Wallace is likely to take over the starting role with veteran Doug Legursky behind him.

Pouncey has not been a dominant center in recent campaigns, but losing his consistent play and leadership is a drain for the line. The Steelers won't be the same in their run-blocking or pass protection, but the hope is that Pouncey will bounce back in time for another playoff push in Pittsburgh.

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