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Steelers News: Steelers stable of backs ready to carry the load in place of James Conner

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 17 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the Baltimore Ravens we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the next game starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers’ stable of backs, mainly Benny Snell Jr., Kerrith Whyte Jr. and Jaylen Samuels, are ready to carry the load.

Let’s get to the news:

  • James Conner is out, again, and there are a trio of running backs ready to get their shot at carrying the load for the running game.

Steelers rookies Benny Snell, Kerrith Whyte ready to take over again for injured James Conner

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

With James Conner unable to finish the regular season with a thigh injury, the Pittsburgh Steelers will turn back to a committee approach Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds and rookies Benny Snell Jr. and Kerrith Whyte will fill various roles if the Steelers stick to the script they used in previous games that Conner missed.

Snell has started once in 12 games and rushed for a career-high 98 yards on 21 attempts Nov. 24 at Cincinnati. He also was the primary runner the next two weeks while Conner sat out with a shoulder injury.

“The mentality, everything stays the same,” Snell said Friday. “Nothing really ever changes. It’s just an opportunity to show what I can do.”

Snell is second on the Steelers with 335 rushing yards. Samuels leads all running backs with 46 receptions, and Whyte has averaged 5.8 yards on 21 carries since he was signed off the Chicago Bears practice squad in November.

“Whatever the team calls me for, I’ll be ready,” Whyte said. “I’m a change-of-pace back. When I come in, I try to make something happen and provide a spark for the team.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Throughout this season of turmoil, one player has been having himself a tremendous season. That would be none other than Chris Boswell.

Kevin Gorman: After regaining Steelers’ trust, Chris Boswell is kicking for keeps

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Chris Boswell is prepared if this season finale ends the same way it did last year, with the Pittsburgh Steelers kicking a winning field goal for their ninth victory.

This time, Boswell would get to be the hero.

Even if that’s the last thing he wants Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to be put in that situation,” Boswell said. “Hopefully, we’ll be clicking in all three phases, and I’ll only kick when I’m needed.”

If it comes down to the Steelers needing Boswell to put one through the uprights, they can count on him being their best bet for offensive scoring. It shows what a difference a year makes, as Boswell is back to Pro Bowl form even if he was snubbed from selection in the NFL’s annual all-star event.

After missing seven field-goal and five extra-point attempts last season, Boswell was blamed by many, including Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, for his struggles with consistency and the failure to win close games and clinch a playoff berth.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

Saints may force the league’s hand on Antonio Brown

By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk

The league apparently had hoped to kick the can all the way through the postseason regarding the status of receiver Antonio Brown. The Saints apparently may keep that from happening.

If the Saints sign Brown, who is working out for the team today, the league will have to place Brown on the Commissioner Exempt list in order to keep him off the field in the postseason. It’s believed that no team has signed Brown because of the possibility/probability that the league would take such action, forcing his new team to pay him to not play while an investigation regarding sexual assault allegations continues. However, the league has declined to comment publicly on whether that would be the outcome.

The circumstances have resulted in a three-month unpaid suspension for Brown, who ultimately has no rights to force the league to finish its investigation or to make a decision as to his status in accordance with any specific timeline. Whether intended or not, it’s an unfair outcome for any player; even if he’s ultimately cleared by the league, the mere existence of the investigation (despite no arrest or criminal charges) has operated to keep Brown out of the league far longer than most players who ever have been suspended under the Personal Conduct Policy.

For the Saints (or any other team that is entering the playoffs), the prospect of signing Brown now entails zero financial risk. If he’s placed on paid leave, the pay will be coming not from the team but from the league-wide playoff pool. So it gives the Saints dibs on Brown and forces the league to deal with a situation it would rather ignore.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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