The Pittsburgh Steelers will face the New Orleans Saints without their Pro Bowl running back on Sunday after James Conner was officially ruled out of the game on Friday’s injury report and he may end up not being the only offensive star forced to miss the game. With JuJu Smith-Schuster also listed a questionable for the game with a groin injury he suffered in practice on Thursday, it appears he will be a game day decision for the medical staff.
WR Juju Smith-Schuster (groin) is questionable, RB James Conner (ankle) OUT for Steelers.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 21, 2018
Conner was once again unable to practice all week long and will miss his third consecutive game of the year in Week 16. He will be replaced in the backfield by Jaylen Samuels. Despite sitting out training on Friday, a day after he was forced to leave practice early, there seems to be a level of optimism among his teammates that Smith-Schuster will still be on the field against the Saints.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (groin) declined comment in the locker room Friday. He went through Friday's pre-practice walkthrough, per guard Ramon Foster. Antonio Brown said he thought Smith-Schuster will "be there for us" on the field Sunday against the Saints.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 21, 2018
Although Terrell Edmunds, Cameron Heyward and Bud Dupree each began the week as injury concerns, all are expected to play on Sunday. Even with a hyperextended elbow, Heyward was able to practice every day, while Edmunds and Dupree were full participants on Thursday and Friday.