The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t seemingly suffer any significant injuries during their Sunday road win against the Cincinnati Bengals but the three players who did miss that contest due to preexisting injuries, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, running back James Conner and cornerback Artie Burns, all begin this week as essentially questionable for the team’s Sunday home game against the Cleveland Browns, according to head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday.
“As we come out of the game [against the Bengals], I think we’re relatively healthy, Tomlin said Tuesday. “From an in-game standpoint, we got some bumps and bruises associated with play. Some of the guys that went down in the game we’re also able to come back and finish the game like [T.J.] Watt and others. We’ll watch those guys, some of them are being looked at downstairs, and let their participation be our guide as we prepare for this one.
“The existing injuries kind of are the ones of note and we don’t have a lot of clarity about availability and these men; JuJu with his knee, James Conner with his shoulder and Artie Burns with his knee. All three missed the last game. I don’t know what their status will be as I stand here. Obviously we’ll go through our normal procedures in terms of looking at those guys and seeing if they’re good enough to participate in practice and then kind of go from there. But don’t have a lot of clarity as I stand here today regarding those three men.”
Smith-Schuster missed the Sunday game against the Bengals due to a knee injury and concussion he sustained in the Week 11 Thursday night game against the Browns. We’ll have to wait and see if he can practice any this week.
As for Conner, he’s very unlikely to play Sunday against the Browns. He aggravated his shoulder injury in the last meeting against the Browns and after missing the Sunday game against the Bengals, he all but ruled himself out for this Sunday’s game against the Browns during a Monday evening radio interview.
Burns, who is not a starter, missed the game against the Bengals after suffering his knee injury midway through the team’s game against the Browns in Week 11. Burns practiced on a limited basis twice last week before ending the week listed as doubtful on the team’s Friday injury report.