If James Conner misses Sunday’s game, it’s next man up. Jaylen Samuels is ready to be that go.
Of course, that isn’t a new role for him. Samuels took over and performed admirably when Conner missed several games a year ago with a high ankle sprain. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Samuels says he feels healthy and anxious to get back on the field in whatever capacity the team needs him.
“I’m ready to do whatever they want me to do. I feel good, I feel fine. 100%. Just ready to go. Get started this week.”
Samuels himself has missed the last two games after undergoing knee surgery early this month. While he could’ve played against the Miami Dolphins, he estimated himself to be at 95%, the team opted to be cautious and hold him out another week.
Now, he could be Sunday’s starter. Conner has an AC sprain, admitting he’s a game-time decision, while Benny Snell suffered a knee injury that Mike Tomlin hinted would cause him to miss this weekend. The only other back on the 53 man roster is Trey Edmunds, whose mostly known for his special teams ability.
Last season, Samuels started three games, carrying the ball a combined 42 times for 223 yards (5.3 YPC) while catching another 12 passes and one touchdown. He’s best remembered for his stellar 142 yard performance in the win over New England that – at the time – kept the Steelers’ season alive.
Starter, backup, or something inbetween, Samuels says his mindset remains the same.
“I’m going to take the same approach. I’m used to it. There’s not going to be any pressure. Just a hard week of practice right here. Just gotta prepare real good for a good team and gotta get ready for Sunday.”
The Colts’ run defense has struggled this year, allowing 4.8 yards per carry. They’ve given up 100+ yards their last two games, including 113 and a score against the Denver Broncos in Week 8.
Samuels: "I'm ready to do whatever they need me to do." pic.twitter.com/Mcb4JIQDz4
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 30, 2019