When you have something taken away from you, you tend to cling to it harder than ever should you be fortunate enough to get it back. That seems to be the case for Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who despite having ample down time right now leading up to training camp is remaining behind at the Steelers’ facility.
Fans of the team will be well aware about his injury history, as he has missed not just one, but two full seasons, barring eight snaps. During the first quarter of the season opener in 2013, Pouncey suffered a torn ACL after right guard David DeCastro accidentally executed a chop block into the back of his leg.
That obviously resulting in the former first-round draft pick missing the entirety of the rest of the season, but much to his own misfortune, it would not be the only time. While he returned in 2014 to make first-team All-Pro, it would be just one year later that he would be set back even more significantly.
During the 2015 preseason, Pouncey found himself blocking upfield for Le’Veon Bell when the running back and his pursuer came up from behind him. The resulting collision saw its landing point on the back of the center’s lack, resulting in a fractured fibula that ultimately ended up shelving him for the year.
There initially was hope that he would be able to return to play at some point during the season, but due to the severity of the complications that he suffered—including multiple infections resulting in more than half a dozen surgeries—he was unable to make it back during the year.
That is why he has hardly missed a practice rep over the past two offseasons, and why he is not taking any vacations during June and July while the team is off in anticipation for the exodus to Latrobe at the end of next month for the start of training camp.
He told Jeremy Fowler for ESPN that “football’s back”, which means that “there’s not time to really take off and enjoy yourself. It’s time to get it”.
And how is he going about getting it? He told the reporter that he is participating in a regimented workout twice a day close to his Pittsburgh home, and close to the team’s facility, where he plans to be and has been a frequent presence.
The five-time Pro Bowler, set to turn 28 late next month, has told reporters before that he would seriously contemplate retiring should quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, more than seven years his senior, go about retiring. He previously told reporters that he would do that. But for somebody who has missed two years already, that’s a hard decision to make in advance.