DALLAS – Maurkice Pouncey is sidelined for the Super Bowl.
The Pittsburgh Steelers center has a high left ankle sprain that has kept him out of practice since he was injured nearly two weeks ago in the AFC championship game. Now, the rookie Pro Bowl selection will miss the big game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
"He's out," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told a pool reporter Friday after the team completed its final full practice indoors at TCU.
Backup Doug Legursky will play in his place in what will be his first NFL start as a center. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall in 2008, Legursky started four games at guard earlier this season.
"The NFL is made up of lots of players like him: guys who somehow got an opportunity and seized it," Tomlin said. "We're completely confident that he will seize this opportunity and play well. That's why we're not changing what we do."
Pouncey needed crutches and wore a walking boot on his left foot as he got off the team plane in Dallas on Monday, but didn't need either during the players' final media session Thursday. Tomlin said earlier Friday that the rookie Pro Bowl selection would not play if he could not participate in the team's last practice.
Defensive end Aaron Smith also is out. He's been sidelined since Oct. 24 with a torn triceps muscle and has been limited in practice.
The Packers' main concern is outside linebacker Erik Walden, who was listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Wide receiver Donald Driver tweaked his quadriceps this week and has been limited in practice, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier Friday that Driver is expected to play. He is listed as probable.
Meanwhile, the Steelers practiced with crowd noise piped in for the first time this week.
"We've had a very good practice week, very normal," Tomlin said. "We're lucky to have guys who just love football and love one another. It's a special group."