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Steelers hopeful to get JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner back in Week 15

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The Pittsburgh Steelers could use an offensive boost, and it might come in Week 15.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is in need of playmakers. This isn’t to suggest the offensive unit the team has deployed the last three weeks hasn’t been good enough, but getting starters back from injury would be huge heading into the Week 15 game vs. the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football at Heinz Field.

During Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference he, as he always does, outlined the injury situation heading into the huge prime time game vs. Buffalo. And no injuries were more noteworthy than the injuries to JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and James Conner (shoulder)

While Tomlin was vague, at best, with his information regarding the Pro Bowl tandem, he did say both third year players are expected to participate in practice this week. Both players have been in and around practice the past few weeks, with Smith-Schuster just running in a straight line for the first time prior to the team’s Week 14 game vs. the Arizona Cardinals.

Tomlin added how the duo is not just expected to practice, but sooner rather than later. In other words, he wants to see them practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with no setbacks before he can give either of the offensive players the green light to participate vs. the Bills.

Those weren’t the only injuries mentioned by Tomlin during his media session, there were two in-game injuries of note. Tight end Vance McDonald left the Cardinals game with a concussion, and is officially in the NFL’s concussion protocol. If McDonald can practice on Wednesday, in any capacity, it is a good sign for him to return sooner than later, barring a setback.

The other injury was a groin injury to running back Jaylen Samuels. At the time of the press conference Tomlin didn’t have much information on the status of Samuels, other than he was being evaluated for the injury.

Keep an eye on the injury report, the first report will be Wednesday, and see if some of these key players are limited, full participants or miss practice altogether. We will have all that information for you right here at BTSC, as well as any other news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the huge game Sunday night.


Mike Tomlin’s Press Conference