The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a significant loss this past weekend, as center Maurkice Pouncey went down with a broken ankle. He underwent surgery on Monday, and early reports suggest he might be a candidate for the team's short term injured reserve spot. He would have to miss at least eight games if placed on such a list.
Whether Pouncey goes on that list, or just rehabs as a weekly inactive, it seems a lock that he will not be available when the Steelers host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. Cody Wallace replaced Pouncey following the injury, and is likely the front-runner to handle center snaps during Pouncey's absence. The Steelers also signed Doug Legursky Tuesday morning. He got some playing time in place of Pouncey when the latter got hurt back in 2010.
If the Wallace name is familiar, it is because he was once a member of the 49ers. The team spent a fourth round pick on him back in 2008. He was inactive all that season, and played in one game in 2009. He was cut prior to the 2010 season, and bounced around the league the next three seasons. The Steelers signed him in 2013, and he has been on the roster ever since. He and Legursky will compete for the starting role.
This leaves the Steelers without Pouncey or running back Le'Veon Bell, who will be serving a two-game suspension. Those are two serious losses for a Steelers squad that was on track to have one of the best offenses in the league. They are still a tough unit, but losing their best linemen, and arguably their best playmaker puts them in a hole.