In addition to a high ankle sprain, center Maurkice Pouncey also has a broken bone in his left ankle, according to Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette. None of us want to fully abandon hope that he'll be in the line-up for the Super Bowl, but it's looking highly unlikely at this point. Then again, Pouncey was apparently in a boot instead of a hard cast on Friday, so there's something to keep the hopes stoked for at least a few more days.
So, an already battered offensive line will be without its most talented member. Some fans have praised Doug Legursky for playing well in Pouncey's stead against the Jets. Botched snaps aside, I don't know if that's entirely accurate, but he wasn't exactly bad, either. I think getting the full two weeks working at center with the first-team offense should help significantly with the snap problem.
When Pouncey has struggled this year, it's come against massive nose tackles like Kyle Williams, Vince Wilfork and Haloti Ngata. If there's one advantage Legursky has over Pouncey in this point in his career, it's size. Granted, it's not a significant upgrade there, either, but it's something. Besides, do you really want a center who has struggles against huge linemen trying to block B.J. Raji at considerably less than 100 percent? Not really.
In further distressing news, the comeback story of Aaron Smith hasn't yet followed its preordained heart-warming script just yet. He continues to remain limited in practice and there are those who say he's an extreme longshot to play in the Super Bowl as well. Again, it would be very nice for line depth, but Ziggy Hood has played well enough that it's not devastating by any means not to get Smith back for the game. Again, nothing is completely definite until the inactive lists are set, so we shall see.
The Steelers beat the Packers last season without either Pouncey and Smith. Obviously, there are additional factors at play, but if any team is equipped to play extremely shorthanded on the O-line and thrive, it's the Steelers.