Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers best efforts to limit his carries during their huge win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, James Conner still ended up headlining the list of injuries concerns by the time the game was over.
With Pittsburgh up by 17 at halftime, the Steelers sensibly opted to rest their star running back at times during the second half, but that still could not stop him from being forced from the game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. Before Conner was taken into the locker room, he was briefly evaluated in the medical tent on sidelines and although he was initially allowed to return to the field, he was removed from the game for good just a few plays later.
Ultimately, Pittsburgh might consider themselves rather lucky that Ben Roethlisberger did not end up joining Conner in needing to be evaluated for a concussion. A rather unnecessary hit to the head from Eric Reid that resulted in the Panthers’ safety being ejected from the game, thankfully looked much worse that it actually was, and he jumped right back up as if the blow to his head had never happened.
“@Panthers Eric Reid was ejected for unnecessary roughness for forcible contact to the head and neck area of a sliding quarterback in #CARvsPIT.” – AL pic.twitter.com/1MbDzjkrLK— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) November 9, 2018
With the players having been told they do not have to report back to team facilities until Wednesday, according to JuJu Smith-Schuster when speaking on the NFL Network after the game, it can only be hoped that Conner will be cleared to return to action in time to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11.
The extra rest should also be beneficial to Marcus Gilbert and Dan McCullers who were forced to miss the game against the Panthers due to injury.