A Look Back At The Injury History Of Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey

You knew as soon as Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was signed to a contract extension that there would be people wanting to throw the injury prone tag out as a reason why the team shouldn’t have locked him up.

It is true that during his first four seasons in the league that Pouncey has missed 18 regular-season games and two playoff games. However, when you look back at how the injuries occurred over the years, I would label him more as being injury unlucky as opposed to being injury prone.

2010 – Week 9 – at Cincinnati Bengals

During his rookie season, Pouncey played every offseason snap until this injury happened against the Bengals in Week 9. As you can see, Pouncey trips over a fallen Bengals defensive back and his right knee lands on the arm of that player. While Pouncey did leave the game for 12 plays, he did return.

2010 – Week 11 – Oakland Raiders

In Week 11 of his rookie season, Pouncey suffered a left knee contusion against the Raiders with 12 minutes left in the third quarter. The injury resulted in him missing the rest of the game, but he wound up playing every snap in the next five games.

2010 – Week 17 – at Cleveland Browns

In the 2010 regular season finale against the Browns, Pouncey left the game with just over 4 minutes left in the third quarter following the play below. The Steelers called the injury a stinger and with the team leading 38-3 at the left, there really was no reason for him to return to the game.

2010 – AFC Championship Game – New York Jets

In the 2010 AFC Championship Game against the Jets, Pouncey was done for the rest of the playoffs after having a linebacker fall on his left ankle from behind with just over 6 minutes left in the first quarter.

2011 – Week 5 – Tennessee Titans

Pouncey started off the 2011 season by playing every snap in the first four games. In the Week 5 game against the Titans, however, the right leg injury that occurred during the play below forced him to miss six plays in the third quarter. Pouncey returned to finish the game.

2011 – Week 12 – at Kansas City Chiefs

Against the Chiefs in Week 12 of the 2011 season, Pouncey left the game after the first 20 plays because of the flu. He had lost a lot of weight leading up to that game.

2011 – Week 14 – Cleveland Browns

While I don’t have a good shot of the play, Pouncey suffered a left high ankle sprain against the Browns in the second quarter. If you remember, this was after Ben Roethlisberger left the game injured. This injury forced Pouncey to miss the next two games and while he played every snap in the season finale against the Browns, a setback during the week of practice leading up to the AFC Wild Card Game forced him to sit out against the Denver Broncos. Pouncey wound up having surgery on that left ankle.

2012 – Week 6 – at Tennessee Titans

The 2012 season started off with Pouncey playing every snap in the first four games of the season. However, on the first offensive play in the Week 6 game against the Titans, Pouncey was again rolled up from behind and suffered a right knee injury. That injury put him out for the rest of the game and he missed the next game against the Bengals as well. Upon returning to action in Week 8, he never missed another snap for the remainder of the season.

2013 – Week 1 – Tennessee Titans

Just eight plays into the 2013 season, an errant cut block by guard David DeCastro resulted in Pouncey tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee. The injury put him out for the remainder of the season.

  • Kurt Williams

    Man, what the heck was DeCastro doing in the last clip? Was Pouncey supposed to disengage the NT? It looked bad. I know it’s been discussed plenty, but everytime I see it….smh

  • SG

    First one I think he needed more awareness on the play. I guess he gets credit for trying to stay with his man though. Second one he blocks nobody, whiffs on the ground with sloppy technique and gets injured. Third one he gets manhandled and gets taken down with one arm by the jersey and gets injured, a bit embarrassing actually. The championship game injury wasn’t his fault, just bad luck. The next one against the Titans, I don’t know what he was doing as he blocked nobody and yet he somehow got injured. Was only minor though. Next one against the Browns wasn’t his fault as he again got clipped from behind. Same with the next one, against the Titans again from behind. And then of course you had the Decastro disaster, yet again against the Titans. Maybe he should avoid the Titans. Most weren’t his fault and were a combination of bad luck and playing with some real dunderheads on the Oline.

  • Intropy

    I don’t think injury prone is a fair tag, and outside of the DeCastro hit I don’t think unlucky is really right either. It’s a rough sport and people get hurt playing it. This doesn’t really seem like all that much.

    But it is a fair criticism to note that he is coming off of a severe injury that may hurt his performance and may make him more injury prone in the future.

  • Louis Goetz

    I am so glad that Dave included the gifs of each injury. The most significant ones were the ankle injury in the 2010 AFC Championship Game, the Week 14 injury against the Browns in 2011, and the Week 1 injury in 2013. Pouncey was injured by friendly fire in all three plays. Flozell Adams was the culprit in 2010 when he blocked the Jets player right up the back of Pouncey’s ankle, which knocked him out of SB XLIII. In 2011, the culprit was Doug Legursk, who blocked a Browns lineman right up the back of Pouncey’s leg, effectively ending his season. The last injury, of course, was the DeCastro cut block. All three of the significant injuries Pouncey has suffered were the result of friendly fire. I know people don’t like him because of the Hernandez hat issue, but the guy is absolutely phenomenal on the field and he’s certainly not injury prone. The Steelers just have to stop injuring him.

  • Louis Goetz

    The video shows that Pouncey was already engaging the Titans’ defender high when DeCastro went low on him, missed and took out Pouncey instead. If he had actually made contact with the Titans’ player it would’ve been an illegal cutblock. The only excuses he could’ve had were that (1) he didn’t see Pouncey, which would be pretty hard to believe given the angle of attack shown in the video; or (2) he somehow thought that Pouncey was disengaging, which again, doesn’t seem plausible given the video. We can all shake our collective heads, but it looks like DeCastro was going for an illegal (and nasty) cutblock on the Titans played, missed and ended up hurting Pouncey instead.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    wow 8 gifs, and three of them are against the Titans, so whenever we play them we should probably bench him

  • John C

    DeCastro must have had his eyes closed on that play or he forgot his team wears the yellow pants! I mean it looks like he was purposely try to cut block Pouncey and not the D lineman.

  • steeltown

    Boy he sure gets rolled up on a lot

  • PA2AK

    Looks to me like pouncey was supposed to go to the second level, but this is the first clip i’ve seen where the DL looks to be holding. getting out in front for DeCastro on that play would have been difficult if the DL wasn’t holding Pouncey, thus the lunging cut block. While it was poorly executed (or terribly botched), I really think that DL’s hold on Pouncey’s outside shoulder (Watch him turn before Dave takes him out) is what caused the brunt of this.

  • PA2AK

    We need a better supporting cast!

  • Louis Goetz

    After looking at it again (and again) you might be right. Assuming that Pouncey was supposed to be upfield, it would’ve been DeCastro’s job to take on the unblocked d-lineman rushing up the middle by taking his legs out from under him. As the lineman grabbed on to Pouncey, however, he was pulled away from DeCastro, so when DeCastro lunged the d-lineman’s legs weren’t there, while Pouncey’s knee was. I think you’re 100% right.

  • PA2AK

    Well that makes two of us Louis! haha…I played a few years as a C with a zone blocking scheme (hardly a pro or even college level player), but it really looked to be that way…Pouncey engages, as he is likely supposed to ‘chip’ and head to the next level. Turning your shoulders backwards, off the angle of the play is a big no-no and I can’t imagine it was for anything other than the DL’s hold.

  • PA2AK

    Also, you can see how poorly the OL grasps or was coached the proper cut block technique in this play. It is on grand display that they are just doing it wrong. Diving at ankles is not a cut block.