PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin declared both quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey as questionable for Monday night’s game at San Francisco.
Both suffered grade 1 high-ankle sprains against Cleveland Thursday night in a 14-3 win. Pouncey said after Monday’s practice that he and Roethlisberger “will be fine,” but Tomlin made it clear that they’ll have to meet certain requirements in practice this week to be cleared to play.
“Maurkice Pouncey and Ben, both, are dealing with ankle sprains,” Tomlin said in his weekly press conference Tuesday. “They’ve worked tirelessly to get themselves back into playing shape, and we’ll see where the week takes us. I think you need to characterize their availability as questionable at this point.”
If Pouncey is unable to play, Doug Legursky will move to center and either Trai Essex or Chris Kemoeatu will slide in at guard.
Both Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon are expected to take considerable snaps at quarterback this week in case Roethlisberger is unable to play.
“If (Roethlisberger is) going to play, he’s going to practice, at least that’s my approach to it,” said Tomlin. “I believe everybody who is going to participate is going to need physical repetitions.”
Other injury news:
- Safety Troy Polamalu is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury and his participation in practice will determine his availability for Monday night.
- Tomlin said he’s optimistic about wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
- Ziggy Hood is dealing with a groin strain, but Tomlin said he “appears to be recovering nicely.” He and linebacker Lamarr Woodley are expected to play this week.
- Rookie linebacker Chris Carter is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.