The Steelers have placed rookie center Maurkice Pouncey on injured reserve Saturday and signed guard/center Dorian Brooks to their 53-man roster. Pouncey was ruled out on Friday with the high ankle sprain he suffered against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game. Brooks has been on the Steelers practice squad all season after being signed last April as an undrafted free agent out of James Madison. As I mentioned last week, Brooks has been working as a center way back in training camp and it looks like he could be active on Super Bowl Sunday as the back up center to Doug Legursky. Trai Essex also has done some center work, but is also the backup swing tackle and guard.
With this move, head coach Mike Tomlin could choose to dress 8 offensive linemen as an injury precaution. Essex has played both tackle and guard spots before and was the emergency 3rd center before Pouncey went down to injury. Brooks is a guard/center that has likely seen his center work ramped up with Pouncey going down last week. Should the Steelers dress 8 linemen on Sunday, Brooks and Tony Hills would be active along with Essex and the other starting 5.