Pouncey, the rookie first-round draft pick who has so far started every game at center for the Steelers this season, suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC championship game against the Jets two weeks ago. Legursky took his place and filled in admirably in that game, but Sunday he'll be squaring off against B.J. Raji, the Packers' great young nose tackle who's emerged as an unstoppable force so far this postseason. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the injury wouldn't affect the team's offensive game plan.
"Obviously, he's a quality player, and how it affects the game no one knows," Tomlin told a pool reporter after the Steelers' practice. "But as far as what we do, we have a plan, and that won't change."
The Steelers have been playing with a patchwork offensive line all year. They lost one of their tackles in June and the other in November and have switched people around to different positions all year. Earlier this week, the linemen credited offensive line coach Sean Kugler for their versatility, saying he had stressed to them in training camp the importance of learning each other's positions in case one of them went down and another had to fill in. For that reason, Legursky's fellow linemen have no doubt he'll be able to fill in adequately against Raji.
"Doug's a great center," left tackle Jonathan Scott said Wednesday. "He has our complete confidence. We don't think he'll be fine. We know he will."
Tomlin also said defensive end Aaron Smith, who has been out since Oct. 24 with a torn triceps and was always a long shot, would not be able to play in the game.
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