Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey missed the team’s 2019 season finale against the Baltimore Ravens with a knee injury and on Thursday the two-time All-Pro revealed the seriousness of that injury when he talked to the media.
Pouncey admitted on Thursday that he missed that Week 17 game against the Ravens due to him tearing the meniscus in his left knee in the Week 16 road game against the New York Jets. Pouncey said he chose not have surgery to repair his knee at the advice of the team doctors, instead opting to heal it through rehab.
“I think it was a smarter decision for me just to rehab it throughout the offseason,” Pouncey said on Thursday, according to Brooke Pryor of espn.com. “I had a lot of time to work and get myself strong in that area. I got lucky with it not catching and being a lingering issue.”
In 2013, Pouncey suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee during the team’s regular season opener against the Tennessee Titans. That injury required surgery and Pouncey was lost for the remainder of that season. He also missed the entire 2015 season due to a broken fibula he suffered during a preseason game. In total, Pouncey has missed 39 regular season games during his 10 years in the NFL due to either injuries or him being held out to rest up for playoff action.
As Pouncey enters his 11th NFL season, he said on Thursday that he plans to keep playing as long as he can as he’s still having fun. His current contract is set to expire after the 2021 season so the Steelers might have interest in extending him come late February or March if he maintains his health and quality of play in 2020. Pouncey is schedule to earn $8 million in 2021 and carry a cap charge of $14.475 million.
“For me, personally, it’s all about having fun and enjoying it,” said Pouncey per Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “For me contract isn’t an issue, years in the league isn’t an issue. Every day I am coming in and enjoying it. We have a good young group. The guys are still motivated. I feel like I could still do it at a very high level. Until somebody proves me otherwise, I will be playing.”