The injured Maurkice Pouncey made a rare locker room appearance this week and said, "I'm feeling great."
The Steelers' three-time Pro Bowl center is, of course, out for the season since tearing his right ACL in the opening series of the season, the one in which teammate David DeCastro lowered his helmet into Pouncey's knee.
Pouncey admitted that "there might have been some anger at first, it's only human nature," toward DeCastro. "But he's my guy. We hang out all the time. He's my guy and he's playing great."
Pouncey said, "I'll be doing OTAs (in the spring). I'm way ahead of schedule. And I'll be full-go at next training camp."
Pouncey was asked if he would move to guard next season to allow his replacement, Fernando Velasco, to remain at center.
"I'll do whatever the coaches want me to do," Pouncey said. "I'll play guard."
That's an unlikely scenario, because Velasco will be a free agent in March and the Steelers just signed left guard Ramon Foster to a three-year, $5.8 million contract last offseason.
"But they should try to keep Fernando, the way he's playing," Pouncey said. "Somebody will give him a lot of money the way he's playing."
HOME FOR THANKSGIVING
Steelers rookie linebacker Terence Garvin is returning home for Thanksgiving. The Baltimore native will play special teams and maybe a few snaps on defense in front of his family.
Last Sunday in Cleveland, Garvin was in on four defensive snaps. He's also made 6 unassisted special-teams tackles this season to tie for the team lead with Curtis Brown and Jason Worilds.
"It's exciting to go back home and be able to play on Thanksgiving in front of my family," Garvin said. "My immediate family will be there, my mom, dad, everybody I grew up with. They'll be wearing Steeler jerseys."
Garvin said his mom was always the biggest Ravens fan in the family, "but she'll be all right."
As a youngster, Garvin was a fan, but didn't mind so much Troy Polamalu's interception return for a touchdown that sealed the 2008 AFC Championship Game.
"It was a good play," Garvin said with a laugh. "I played safety growing up so I always admired safeties. When I saw that I thought it was a really good play."
The Steelers are 1-5 on Thanksgiving and their only win came in 1950 at Comiskey Park, 28-17, against the Chicago Cardinals. The Steelers lost five fumbles that day but Joe Geri led them with 102 yards and two touchdowns.
It's the Steelers' first Thanksgiving Day game since they lost in overtime at Detroit in 1998 with Jerome Bettis and the infamous coin flip.
The Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers two years ago in their only Thanksgiving Day appearance. The Ravens are also 7-1 in prime-time home games and 10-1 in November home games during the John Harbaugh era.
The Steelers are 20-15 against the Ravens in regular-season games, 9-8 at Baltimore, and have won two in a row against the Ravens. The Steelers are 3-0 in the teams' post-season games.
Of the 38 meetings, 24 have been decided by single digits and 15 by three points or less.
Eight of the last 10 have been determined by exactly three points, including each of last four games (2-2).
The Ravens are 13-2 in sub-40 degree weather at home. The last team to beat them in such conditions was the Steelers, 13-10, on Dec. 5, 2010.
Ben Roethlisberger is 10-4 against the Ravens, including postseason. He's three touchdowns away from passing Terry Bradshaw (212) for the most (regular season) in franchise history. One touchdown would be Roethlisberger's 20th this season and make him first in franchise history to throw 20 touchdown passes in five seasons, and also extend his franchise-best streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 26 (including post-season).
Ray Rice, on what he remembers about his rookie games against the Steelers in 2008:
"The hits. That was before there were a lot of fines on big hits. I remember guys getting whacked coming across the middle of the field. Those hits were brutal."