Big news just hours before today’s kickoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey is being placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID list.
Steelers are placing C Maurkice Pouncey on the Reserve/COVID list before today's game against the Baltimore Ravens, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2020
It’s unclear if this stems from a positive test or close-contact. Both teams were taking point-of-contact tests this morning which has a higher risk of false positives.
Presumably, the Steelers will start JC Hassenauer in Pouncey’s place at center. Hassenauer has played a handful of snaps this season, mostly in blowouts with Pouncey taken out of the game. Today will mark his first career start. Undrafted out of Alabama, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons and spent time in the AAF before Pittsburgh signed him to a futures deal early in 2019.
Here’s what we wrote about Hassenauer after the 2019 training camp. It wasn’t a very kind evaluation.
“JC Hassenauer: He suffered a knee injury mid-way through training camp and struggled even more than he was. Like Morris, undersized and lacks length, and far too grabby in pass protection. Don’t see a special trait in his game though he seems like a tough, hard-nosed linemen with some interior versatility. Got passed up by Derwin Gray after the first game as 2nd team right guard. Pretty easy cut.
Camp Grade: D“