The status of these two players was constant news all week despite the chances that they would play being extremely small. Pouncey has a broken bone and hasn’t practiced with the team since the AFC Championship game. Smith has missed the past couple of months with a torn triceps and was limited in his participation in practice. The Steelers were hopeful that he would be able to return at some point this season, but that hasn’t come to pass.
Pouncey will be replaced by Doug Legursky, who looks capable, but he’ll have the unenviable task of facing off against Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji. The Steelers’ offensive line, weak even before Pouncey’s absence, will have to protect Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers’ offense to make much of anything happen.