Maurkice Pouncey(notes), the Steelers center who was forced to miss most of Sunday's AFC Championship game with a high ankle sprain, has already given himself the green light to play in the Super Bowl against the Packers.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"Most definitely," Pouncey said when asked whether he would be playing against the Packers in two weeks in Dallas. "I had this same injury before on my other ankle and I know how to attack it. I know how to approach things. I know in my heart I'm playing in that game."
Pouncey has had a fantastic rookie season in the middle of the Steelers offensive line. Backup lineman Dan Legursky was a capable replacement Sunday, except for that one huge disaster, though offensive line depth is a concern for the Steelers with or without Pouncey.
His proclamation that he's going to play is probably more heart than head, though. It's not that I doubt the guy -- it is his body, and he knows it better than anyone else -- but high-ankle sprains are notoriously tricky. Pouncey's a competitor, and I'm sure he can't stand the thought of missing the biggest game of his life, but optimism and courage alone do not make for a reliable diagnosis.