The Pittsburgh Steelers have turned the page from their Week 13 win over the Cleveland Browns and now look ahead to Week 14 and a trip to the desert to play the Arizona Cardinals. Considering the team left their game Sunday unscathed, meaning no new injuries of note, the attention went to two offensive playmakers who have been on the shelf the past two weeks - none other than wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and running back James Conner (shoulder).
During Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference Tuesday he talked about the two injured Pro Bowlers, but mentioned that there was not a lot of clarity regarding when Smith-Schuster and Conner will return to the lineup. In fact, Tomlin went as far as to calling both players questionable for the upcoming game against Arizona, and said that both have “some work in front of them” when it comes to getting on the practice field and proving they are capable of not just playing, but playing at a high level without further risk of injury.
As always, practice participation will be the true guide to whether or not a player plays in the upcoming game, and Tomlin acknowledged Conner currently has the better chance to practice Wednesday compared to Smith-Schuster.
Playing in Conner and Smith-Schuster’s stead have been a myriad of players who have stepped up to carry the load. At running back, Benny Snell has combined with newcomer Kerrith Whyte and Jaylen Samuels to make the ground game thrive. The receiving corps has been buoyed by James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Tevin Jones and newcomer Deon Cain.
While some Steelers fans look at the upcoming Cardinals game and pencil in a ‘W’ on their schedules, this Arizona team has a great pass rush and an electric quarterback in Kyler Murray who has a rocket arm combined with an ability to run the football which very few have seen so far in today’s NFL.
With a trip out west upcoming, this game won’t be a cakewalk for the black-and-gold.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news, updates and notes surrounding the Steelers as they now prepare for Week 14 of the 2019 regular season.