While it’s yet to be seen if Pittsburgh Steelers starting center Maurkice Pouncey will ultimately play in the team’s third preseason game Saturday night at Heinz Field against the Indianapolis Colts, at least he’s back practicing again, according to Mike Prisuta of steelers.com.
“It was nice out there,” Pouncey said per Prisuta’s Wednesday practice update. “I’m just happy we were all back out there at one time, being able to practice together and getting our routine down, our camaraderie together, stuff like that.”
Pouncey hasn’t played so far during the preseason and that’s reportedly due to him suffering some sort of deep gash on one of legs early in training camp. One can only hope that he’s now healthy enough to play some Saturday against the Colts even if it winds up just being a series or two.
While Pouncey has been sidelined so far during training camp and the preseason, it has resulted in third-year interior backup lineman B.J. Finney getting some much-needed work at center in his absence. Finney, who didn’t appear to have a great showing at center in the Steelers preseason opener against the New York Giants, seemed to improve some in the team’s Sunday preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons.
In other injury-related news, Prisuta reports that rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster also returned to practice on Wednesday. With that said, the team’s second-round draft pick this year probably still isn’t sure if he’ll play against the Colts Saturday night as he continues to battle back from a leg bone bruise that he suffered during the team’s preseason opener.
“I’m not 100 percent right now but I can do what I can put my mind to,” Smith-Schuster said. “Today I basically did everything and I felt like the outcome of my day was good.”
Also spotted back in pads on Wednesday were outside linebackers James Harrison and Bud Dupree. The two have yet to play during the preseason but recent comments made by Dupree can easily lead one to believe that he’ll make his 2017 debut Saturday night against the Colts. As for Harrison, who reportedly took part in 11-on-11 work for the first time this offseason on Wednesday, he said after practice he isn’t sure yet what his status for Saturday is right now.
“You have to ask ‘Coach’ (Mike Tomlin) that one,” Harrison reportedly said. “I would think I would need to (play at some point in the preseason), yeah, but that’s neither here nor there. I did alright in practice. I would expect to play but that’s up to them.”
Linebacker Ryan Shazier and quarterback Landry Jones both apparently worked more on Wednesday as well, according head coach Mike Tomlin at the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice.
“He worked well today,” Tomlin said of Shazier, who has been fighting back from a hamstring injury. “We’ll take a look at the tape but it’s good to have him back.”
And as for Jones’ status?
“Yeah, it’s good to get Landry back out and working,” Tomlin said “He doesn’t appear to have any physical restrictions. We’ll see how his body responds to a days’ work.”