The Pittsburgh Steelers running game was pretty much nonexistent in Sunday’s home win against the Los Angeles Rams as running backs Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds and Tony Brooks-James combined to rush for just 41 yards on 24 carries. While the Steelers are now on a short week, early reports indicate that the team’s offense might get starting running back James Conner back Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns and such a return to action by him will hopefully provide the Steelers running game a much-needed lift.
Conner, who has missed the Steelers last two games with a shoulder injury that he sustained late in the team’s Monday night win against the Miami Dolphins a few weekends ago, is currently expected to play Thursday night against the Browns, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Conner, who was listed as a limited practice participant on the team’s Wednesday injury report last week, ultimately failed to practice on Thursday and Friday.
Entering Week 11, Conner has rushed for 380 yards and four touchdowns on 97 total carries. Additionally, he has already registered 29 receptions for another 236 yards and two touchdowns. In the Steelers win against the Dolphins, Conner registered a season-high 145 yards on 23 carries and that performance netted him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for Week 8.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will hold his weekly press conference on Monday at noon with the team scheduled to play Thursday night and hopefully he’ll provide a little clarity on the overall health status of Conner and the chances of him returning to action later this week against Cleveland. Tomlin will also likely update the health of another key Steelers offensive player, fullback Roosevelt Nix, during his Monday press conference. Nix sat out the Steelers game against the Rams with a knee injury.