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Steelers add a RB to the practice squad as insurance if James Conner is out in Week 9

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a practice squad move to help the depth at the running back position.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back depth chart is in dire straits, at least on paper. James Conner is dealing with an AC sprain in his shoulder, and Benny Snell Jr. has a knee injury. During his weekly press conference Mike Tomlin didn’t rule out either running back, but mentioned they both could be limited in the early portions of the week.

The difference between Conner and Snell is their experience. Tomlin said if Conner was limited it wouldn’t impact his availability on Sunday, but the opposite was said about Snell. Being a rookie he needs all the practice he can get to prepare.

With that said, the Steelers will be headed into their Week 9 game vs. the Indianapolis Colts with two healthy running back: Jaylen Samuels who is returning from a knee injury and Trey Edmunds.

In other words, if Conner and/or Snell can’t play on Sunday the team will need to have an insurance policy at the position. They did just that by signing Darrin Hall to their practice squad Wednesday.

Hall played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh, and should be comfortable in his new location. A brief synposis of Hall, and what he brings to the Steelers if he is called upon:

Running back prospect with three-down backup size and versatility who is limited by a lack of field vision and cut quickness. Hall is too tight-hipped to be a sudden, one-cut runner on outside zone plays, but he does have the raw build-up speed to take it the distance if he finds wide open daylight. His size, strength and pro day testing give him an outside shot of surprising in camp.

Hall will be the second running back on the Steelers practice squad as they already have Tony Brooks-James who was added several weeks ago. This will bring the Steelers total amount of running backs to seven between the active roster and the practice squad if including fullback Roosevelt Nix. Adding another running back at this point, even to the practice squad, gives a strong indication that Benny Snell Jr. may not be available in preparation for Sunday’s game.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as thtye prepare for the Indianapolis Colts to invade Heinz Field this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.