Will the Pittsburgh Steelers get running back James Conner back for their Week 13 Sunday home game against the Cleveland Browns? To hear Conner talk on Monday during his radio show on 93.7 The Fan, it sounds like there’s no way he’s going to play Sunday against the Browns as his shoulder injury still needs more time to heal.
“I’m definitely making progress on it,” Conner said Monday. “Getting a lot more strength in there, more stabilization. It’s one of those things that as a player I have to be smart with because if I continue to play without it being stable, then eventually surgery will need to be done. So, I just need to wait till I have enough stabilization and strength and that tendon gets a little bit stronger, because that’s kind of what I had, a little minor setback when I tried to play versus Cleveland.”
Conner tried to play against the Browns in the Week 11 Thursday night game after missing the previous two games with his shoulder injury. However, he aggravated that shoulder injury late in the first quarter of that contest and had to exit it for good. He sat out practice this past week and was eventually ruled out for the team’s Sunday road game against the Cincinnati Bengals on the Friday injury report.
“And so, you know, it’s killing me not being out there,” Conner said Monday. “I work so hard and I just want to be out there and help contribute and help win games, but it’s just the situation that I’m in right now. But I’m making a lot of progress. Waiting for those ligaments to get a little bit stronger just so we don’t have any setbacks because if I go out there and it’s not right then I eventually will need surgery, which would put me back another couple of months.”
In short, and while Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin might not rule Conner out for Sundays rematch against the Browns when he meets the media on Tuesday for his weekly press conference, it seems almost certain that the third-year running back will indeed miss that key AFC North contest. Assuming Conner does ultimately sit out Sunday against the Browns the Steelers will likely once again let running backs Benny Snell Jr., Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds and newcomer Kerrith Whyte Jr. all combine to carry the running load like the four did Sunday against the Bengals.
Conner commented on Monday about watching those four running backs carry the load on Sunday against the Bengals.
“It was so cool to see the rotation of the backs versus Cincinnati and just how all of them stepped up, took their turns and all played great,” Conner said. “You know, we have four backs out there and they all were making play. So, it was super cool to see and I’m really proud of those guys.”
Will Conner make it back in time for the Steelers week 14 road game against the Arizona Cardinals? It’s hard to say for sure judging by the prognosis he gave himself on Monday.
“Currently speaking, it’ll be a little longer,” Conner said. “I’m not sure, you know, how many days or how long it may be, but I’m working my butt off sitting in the training room and weight room to keep this thing strong as possible, and doing everything else possible that I can to hurry up and get back. And like I said, it’s killing me not being out there, but I’ll just have to, you know, wait it out.”