Admit it: You doubted Mike Pouncey would ever be the same.

Fans doubted. The media doubted. Even Pouncey, at one point, doubted.

Pouncey missed all but five games of the 2016 season with avascular necrosis in his hip, the name for when bone tissue dies because of a lack of blood supply.

“I was told my career was over at one point,” Pouncey said.

It wasn’t.

Pouncey not only returned to football in 2017, but on Sunday, he will reach a once-unthinkable goal: Staying healthy and playing all 16 games. He has not been able to do that since 2012 because of a series of hip injuries, one more serious than the last.

He has had surgeries. He has had stem cell therapy. And he has had a lot of time away from football to think.