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Steelers Injury Report: James Conner and Marcus Gilbert sit out practice again on Thursday

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The Steelers saw a number of players return to training as full participants on Thursday, but are still missing their starting running back.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

While there were plenty of positives to take from the Pittsburgh Steelers second injury report of the week, there was little comfort for those hoping the team’s starting running back might be able to play in Week 15. James Conner and Marcus Gilbert were the only players held out practice on Thursday and both look unlikely to play against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Having missed the last eight games in a row and virtually every practice session in between, there is no chance Gilbert makes a miraculous return to practice on Friday and is cleared to play this weekend. Realistically, the same could said for Conner, even if Randy Fichtner seems to believe he does not need to practice to be able to play.

After sitting out training on Wednesday due to injury, the inclusion of Ben Roethlisberger and Sean Davis as full participants on Thursday was encouraging, as was the upgrade of Anthony Chickillo from limited. Another full day of practice on Friday should assure the coaching staff that all three will be good to go against New England. While Maurkice Pouncey returned from his veterans day off, it appears Ramon Foster did not take his as he normally does at this point in the week.

The injury report for the Patriots looks exactly the same as it did the day before with no real concerns to highlight.