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Maurkice Pouncey returns to the Steelers from suspension, ready for stretch run

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The Steelers Pro Bowl center has been reinstated after his two-game suspension, and is ready for the stretch run of the regular season.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Monday that center Maurkice Pouncey has been activated from the Reserve/Suspended List and has been placed on the Exempt/Commissioner Permission List.

Being placed on the exempt list, Pouncey does not count towards the Steelers 53-man roster until 4 PM on Wednesday. For the time being, the Steelers can carry an extra player as Pouncey returns to practice. For some reason, the Steelers announced they have already waived center Patrick Morris. Morris was activated from the Steelers practice squad at the time of Pouncey’s suspension.

After going 2-0 during Pouncey’s absence, the Steelers captain returns to find the team in the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs, and in control of their own destiny. Entering the final quarter of the season, Pouncey will look to help guide his team into the postseason for the sixth time in his career. While the Steelers did make the postseason in 2015, Pouncey was lost for the year due to injury during the preseason.

Experiencing his first extended absence from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pouncey has continued his exemplary leadership. In fact, it was Pouncey’s defense of his quarterback which landed him on the suspension list in the first place.

On top of all that, it is worth noting Pouncey had been dealing with a lower body injury the past few weeks. Not that the time away was ideal, but with B.J. Finney holding down the fort in his absence, the time away might have Pouncey fresh and ready to make an impact in these final four games of the regular season.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for a road trip to play the Arizona Cardinals at 4:25 p.m. ET in Week 14.