An ACL injury that Casey Hampton suffered last Sunday will not require surgery at this time, something that helps in regard to the veteran nose tackle's future with the Steelers.
Hampton, who got hurt in the Steelers' 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in an AFC wild-card playoff game, will try to work his way back from the knee injury with a combination of rest and treatment.
Hampton just completed his 11th season with the team, and there is no guarantee the five-time Pro Bowler will return in 2012, even if his knee isn't an issue. He is set to make about $5 million this season.
Hampton is going into the final year of the three-year, $21.2 million deal he signed in February of 2010. The Steelers, who are more than $20 million over the projected salary cap in 2012, could save close to $5 million by releasing the 33-year-old Hampton. They could also try to restructure Hampton's contract.
The 6-foot-1, 325-pound Hampton has been a vital piece in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense. His ability to clog the middle and occupy blockers is why the Steelers have consistently been among the NFL's top rushing defenses.
The Steelers were No. 8 against the run this season (99.8 yards allowed per game).
Surgery for Pouncey, Legursky
Maurkice Pouncey underwent surgery on his left ankle Thursday, the All-Pro center said on his Twitter account. Guard Doug Legursky wrote on his Twitter page that he is scheduled to have shoulder surgery today (Friday).
Pouncey missed three of the Steelers' last four games, including the loss to Denver, because of his second high ankle-sprain since his rookie year. Pouncey first sprained his left ankle last January, forcing him to miss the Super Bowl.
Legursky hurt his shoulder in the Steelers' 27-0 win over St. Louis on Dec. 24. He did not play the following week but started at center against the Broncos.
Legursky is one of the Steelers' seven restricted free agents.