Missing for the majority of the season, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey experienced one of the most frustrating years of his career in 2016. After suffering a hip injury that ultimately forced him to miss the final eleven games this past season, the icing on that bitter cake came in the playoffs, when the Dolphins faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose center is none other than Mike’s twin brother Maurkice.
But Mike Pouncey isn’t wallowing in pity, as he had a chance this year to see things from a fan perspective, cheering on his team from the sidelines and providing support in any way he could.
“I was just trying to be there for the guys when they were going out on the football field,” said Pouncey about missing Sunday’s game. “Just being out there, seeing the way they were in the locker room before the game, the way they played, it was exciting to see. It was something different, nothing I had ever experienced before in the National Football League. I was just happy to be a part of it.”
Voted one of the five team captains this year, Pouncey is proud of everything the team accomplished in a 10-6 season that ended with last Sunday’s loss to the Steelers.
“It was tough the way the season played out for me,” said Pouncey. “I didn't expect it to go that way and no one ever does, but I got to see this thing from a different perspective, and watch these guys work. And it was just amazing to see.
“No one gave us a chance,” he continued. “We prevailed and proved people wrong. Obviously, we had a lot of injuries this year, but this team just kept pushing forward.”
Pouncey felt he was healthy enough to play again this year, but the team decided to shut down their pro bowl center to prevent any risk of further injury. He was placed on Injured Reserve December 13. He’s been rehabbing diligently, and feels he’s 100% healthy now, and is anxious to get started in offseason workout programs.
As frustrating as the injury has been, Pouncey has taken it in stride, and has a great attitude heading into the new year.
“Injuries happen,” he said. “It's a part of this game. But I feel great right now. I know I'm healthy. I'll be healthy in a minute or so. I'm proud of this team for sticking with me. I'll try to stay as healthy as I can next year. I'm ready for this season, ready for this offseason. I'm going to attack it just like I do any other offseason to be the best player I can possibly be. I can't wait to get started back."
When asked how optimistic he is about coming back healthy and not having any setbacks in the future, Pouncey left no doubts on the table.
“I'm not retiring (for) 10 years. Trust me.”
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball
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