On paper, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 7 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals seems like a very winnable game. But the Cardinals, for all their problems, are still a much more dangerous team at home than most realize. The last time Pittsburgh traveled to Phoenix was in 2007 — Mike Tomlin’s first year — and the Cardinals played well enough on both sides of the ball to win.
Can the Steelers avoid a similar fate this coming Sunday? We’ll see, but it sure would help to have Maurkice Pouncey in the lineup and healthy. And according to Scott Brown, that is not an absolute certainty. According to Brown, Pouncey ‘seemed distracted’ when talking about the elbow injury that caused him to be limited in Thursday’s practice.
Based on what we know about Pouncey, it’s a safe bet that the second-year center will play against Arizona. Hopefully, though, he’s not ailing to the point where he can’t play at his typically high level.
Also absent from Thursday’s practice were Chris Hoke (neck), Casey Hampton (shoulder), Aaron Smith (foot), Doug Legursky (toe), and James Harrison (eye). We’ll see how Hoke and Hampton progress this next 48 hours or so. Obviously it would put the Steelers in a bind if the top two nose tackles on the team are unable to play.
Pouncey did in fact practice, but he was one of four who were limited on Thursday. The others: Rashard Mendenhall (knee), Mike Wallace (hamstring), and Jason Worilds (thigh).
Stay tuned here and on Behind the Steel Curtain leading up to kickoff on Sunday for more news and analysis about the Steelers and their Week 7 opponent, the Arizona Cardinals.