Earlier this morning I posted the 49ers injury report and I decided to split out the Steelers report due to some fairly significant issues they face. They are already dealing with the James Harrison suspension. As significant as that is, they face at least three injury issues that raise some question marks.
The most high profile injury is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers QB sprained his ankle last week against the Cleveland Browns and the team is ordering a new ankle brace for him. According to Steelers OC Bruce Arians, Big Ben would not have been able to play had it been a Thursday game. Obviously it is not a Thursday game, but it remains worth noting. He has 3+ days until Monday Night Football, which is a sizable amount of time. The question is how the ankle responds between now and then. I don't imagine he will be practicing at all this week, but that does not mean he won't play Monday.
Center Maurkice Pouncey is also dealing with a high ankle sprain. Late last week it sounded like Pouncey's sprain was less of an issue than Roethlisberger's, but now it sounds like Pouncey's sprain might be worse than Roethlisberger's sprain. If Pouncey can't play, Doug Legursky would move from left guard to center and I believe Trai Essex would take on some guard work. I'm not quite sure of that but there would definitely be some shuffling.
The other injury of note is outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley. He is not on the Steelers injury report, but according to Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac, Woodley "will be on something of a pitch count." It will be interesting to see how that plays out given what he adds to their pass rush. The Steelers can bring the heat no matter what, but no Harrison and a potentially limited Woodley could make a significant difference.
Did Not Participate In Practice
LB Chris Carter (hamstring)
OT Marcus Gilbert (illness)
S Troy Polamalu (hamstring)
C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (ankle)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot)