The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to get both running back James Conner (shoulder) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) back on the field Sunday night for their Week 15 home game against the Buffalo Bills and on Tuesday head coach Mike Tomlin talked about the possibility of that happening during his weekly press conference.
“Guys with current injuries that we expect to participate this week and practice and let that participation be our guide is James Conner coming off his shoulder injury and JuJu coming off of his knee,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “I don’t know what their anticipated practice participation is tomorrow as I stand here right now, but those guys are expected to participate in practice at least in some capacity and probably sooner rather than later in the week. And we’ll look at the quality of that work and the ramifications of the aftermath of that work in terms of talking about their availability.”
Conner and Smith-Schuster have both missed the Steelers last three games with their respective injuries so it will be interesting to see how both players are listed on the team’s Wednesday injury report regarding each’s practice participation levels. Smith-Schuster noted last week that he had just resumed straight-line running again.
As for the two players who sustained new injuries in the team’s Sunday road win against the Arizona Cardinals, tight end Vance McDonald (concussion) and running back Jaylen Samuels (groin), Tomlin also updated their statuses on Tuesday.
“Some in-game injuries of note, Jaylen Samuels had a groin injury sustained in the game that’s being evaluated today,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “Don’t have a lot of information about that. And Vance McDonald is in the protocol, so we’ll wait to hear his availability as he pushes through that element, or injury circumstance.”
The Steelers first injury report of Week 15 will be released on Wednesday at the conclusion of the team’s practice.