The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to get running back James Conner back from his ankle injury for Sunday’s road game again st the New Orleans Saints but judging by a Wednesday locker room interview that he gave, it sounds like the recent first-time Pro Bowl selection is questionable, at best, right now for this coming weekend.
“I’m trying, it’s day by day,” Conner said about his prospects of possibly playing Sunday against the Saints. “You know, these high ankle sprains they’re deceiving. It’s like I can walk around fine, I’m not limping around, but when I’m out there on the field cutting and stuff it’s just, I’m not ready yet.”
During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sounded somewhat optimistic that Conner, who has missed the last two games with his ankle injury, would be able to practice in some capacity on Wednesday.
“I saw him downstairs getting rehab just a few moments ago,” Tomlin said of Conner during his Tuesday press conference. “Hopefully that sets the stage for a productive Wednesday and we’ll go on from there. We’ll let the amount of work that he’s able to do and the effectiveness of that work be our guide and we’ll make those decisions at the appropriate time as we push toward game time.”
The Steelers first injury report of Week 16 will be released very soon and so well have to wait and see what is participation level was in practice earlier in the day. Conner ended last Friday as questionable on the Steelers injury report after practicing on a limited basis earlier that day. The team, however, downgraded Conner to doubtful on Saturday and he was then on the Week 15 inactive list.
“I want to go, but if I’m not feeling like me then I wouldn’t be James Conner,” the Steelers running back said on Wednesday. So, you know, I’m not going to go out there unless I’m ready, so I’m day-to-day with it.”
Should Conner be unable to play against the Saints on Sunday, rookie running back Jaylen Samuels would likely make his third-consecutive start with backup running back Stevan Ridley also seeing some playing time again in the backfield.