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Report: Pouncey has broken bone; McFadden skips practice

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has a broken bone in his left ankle along with the previously-announced high ankle sprain, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday, and his status for Super Bowl XLV remains "highly doubtful."

The Steelers said Wednesday that X-rays on Pouncey's ankle came back negative. But further examination revealed the broken bone, and sources told the Post-Gazette the real concern is damage to the ligaments in his ankle.

Pouncey, a rookie who hasn't missed a game this season, has been wearing a hard cast over his injured left ankle moved around gingerly on crutches at the Steelers' facility. He was injured in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's 24-19 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game when Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas was pushed back into his leg. He left the game and did not return.

Steelers sources say they have not yet ruled him out of the game against the Green Bay Packers, but a number of teammates remain privately skeptical that he will be healthy enough to play, the Post-Gazette reports. Teammate Chris Kemoeatu had told reporters Wednesday that Pouncey was not going to play in the Super Bowl, but he had backed off those comments Thursday.

Also not practicing for the Steelers was starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, who has a strained abdomen. McFadden also did not practice early last week, but he returned to practice Friday and played Sunday -- albeit with a somewhat reduced workload.

William Gay assumed McFadden's role as the team's No. 2 cornerback, and Doug Legursky replaced Pouncey.

There was no change in the Steelers' injury status from Wednesday to Thursday: All Pro safety Troy Polamalu (Achilles), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot), left tackle Jonathan Scott (ribs) and special teamer Will Allen (knee) all did not practice again, but Allen is the only one of that group with an injury expected to be serious enough to put his status for the Feb. 6 Super Bowl in question.

Defensive end Aaron Smith continues to be limited in practice participation, as he has been for the past three weeks. He has not played since tearing a triceps Oct. 24 and is not expected to be ready to face the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) makes a deep catch as Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Kyzir White (44) trails on the play during an NFL football game , Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

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