The Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled running the football in 2020, there is no denying that simple fact. Pittsburgh’s 89.1 yards per game on the ground ranked 31st in the NFL heading into Week 15, and it doesn’t seem as if there is hope on the horizon.
James Conner, the team’s top running back, has reportedly been downgraded from questionable to out, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Pittsburgh RB James Conner, initially listed as questionable for tonight with a quad injury, is being downgraded to out against the Bengals, per source. Benny Snell likely will start in his place.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 21, 2020
Leading up to the Week 15 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, Conner missed the first practice of the week (Thursday) with a quadriceps injury, but hope was restored when he was able to practice Friday and Saturday on a limited basis.
However, the quad injury which limited his practice participation is what will keep him out of the game Monday which could clinch an AFC North title for the Steelers if they win.
This will be the third game of the 2020 season in which James Conner will not be available. Conner missed the Steelers Week 12 and 13 matchups against the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team due to being on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. In Conner’s absence, the Steelers rushed for a combined 89 yards on 34 attempts.
Without Conner, the Steelers will again lean on Benny Snell Jr. Jaylen Samuels and Anthony McFarland to try and resuscitate the lifeless running game as the team prepares for the postseason.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Bengals on prime time in Week 15.
The Steelers have officially downgraded James Conner to OUT vs. the Bengals.
RB James Conner has been downgraded to out for tonight’s game against the Bengals.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 21, 2020