The Pittsburgh Steelers received some bad news when it comes to injured running back James Conner. Not only will Conner’s MCL injury require surgery, something which was reported Monday evening, but the surgery will end his season.
Mike Tomlin announced the Steelers plan on placing Conner on injured reserve, ending his rookie season, Tuesday.
James Conner will have knee surgery this afternoon and will be placed on IR. He will be replaced this afternoon, though Mike Tomlin doesn't say how.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 19, 2017
With the news of Conner’s season ending early, the next question is what will the Steelers do to add depth at the running back position.
They have a couple legitimate options:
- Promote Terrell Watson from the practice squad
Watson made the team’s initial 53-man roster, but was released and signed to the practice squad when Fitzgerald Toussaint was promoted to the active roster. Watson knows the offense, and showed some promise in the preseason. However, he was never given a chance in the regular season, other than the occasional short-yardage situation. The Steelers know what Watson brings, his capabilities and his knowledge of the offense.
- Bring in a free agent veteran, like DeAngelo Williams
The team could try and bring in a free agent running back. Two names come to mind, who have a familiarity within the Steelers’ system. One is Knile Davis, who spent the preseason with the team before being cut, and the second is DeAngelo Williams, who spent the previous two seasons with Pittsburgh before the team decided to not re-sign the veteran ball carrier. Both players bring up questions about their conditioning and game-readiness, but could be viable options.
Tomlin stated the team will make the roster move sometime this afternoon, and BTSC will be the place to be as the team makes another roster move as they prepare for the Houston Texans in Week 16.