Pouncey Says He’ll Start Sunday at Arizona

His left elbow heavily wrapped after practice Friday, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey says he’s dealt with pain the past two days but will start Sunday at Arizona.

Pouncey, a Pro Bowler as a rookie last season, left practice early Thursday with the elbow injury. He has started all six games this season, but was forced to leave some games early with ankle and knee injuries.

Starting guard Doug Legursky is normally the backup center, but he will not play against the Cardinals because of a toe injury. That would have left center to Trai Essex if Pouncey could not play.

The Steelers will have two erstwhile starters return to the offensive line. Left guard Chris Kemoeatu said he was back to “100 percent” after sitting out two games with a left knee injury, and rookie right tackle Marcus Gilbert said he was “feeling great” after dealing with a left shoulder problem that prevented him from playing last week.

As expected, the Steelers will be without defensive linemen Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton and star linebacker James Harrison. Backup nose tackle Chris Hoke is also doubtful with a neck injury, meaning Steve McLendon likely will make his first career start.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and wide receiver Mike Wallace (hamstring) practiced Friday and are probable to face the Cardinals.

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