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James Conner downgraded to doubtful vs. Patriots in Week 15

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The Steelers are unlikely to have their starting running back available to them this weekend after James Conner was designated as doubtful following the walkthrough on Saturday.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

It looks highly unlikely that James Conner will be on the field when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the New England Patriots this Sunday after an update to his injury status on Saturday downgraded him to doubtful for the game.

Having made his first appearance at practice since injuring his ankle against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13 on Friday, Conner was optimistically listed as questionable for Week 15. However, following the walkthrough, it would appear the medical staff have been forced to re-evaluate his availability.

Considering he has only had one day of limited practice in the last two weeks, it should come as no surprise to learn that Conner is not yet ready to return to action. In his absence, Pittsburgh will feature a combination of Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley at running back.

While fans should expect a pass heavy day with Conner sidelined, it might have been fair to suggest the offense would have probably ignored the running game anyway, even if their starting back had been fully healthy.