The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Baltimore Ravens on the road on Sunday to close out their 2019 regular season and on Tuesday we learned that the team will definitely be without starting center Maurkice Pouncey for that contest and potentially running back James Conner as well. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the injuries suffered Sunday by both players as well as the one quarterback Mason Rudolph suffered on Sunday during his Tuesday press conference.
“From an injury standpoint, we had several guys that could probably be characterized as out or dealing with something,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “Mason Rudolph, as you know, will be out. He was placed on IR with a shoulder injury sustained in-game. Maurkice Pouncey is out with a knee injury. James Conner’s availability is very much in question with a quad injury. He’s being evaluated and treated.”
Tomlin talked a little about what Conner will need to show this coming week in practice in regard to him ultimately playing on Sunday against the Ravens.
“We’ll know about his availability as we push through the week,” Tomlin said. “Practice participation being an element of it and then obviously overall effectiveness and being able to protect and defend himself and the football. We’ve been in those waters before, unfortunately. It’s been a tough year for him and for us in that regard. But we are familiar with the procedure and so we’ll go through that procedure as we ready ourselves for this game.”
Rudolph, Pouncey and Conner were all injured during the Steelers Sunday road loss to the New York Jets. Tomlin said Tuesday that Rudolph’s injury will not require him undergoing surgery. As for Pouncey and his knee injury, Tomlin said Tuesday that he doesn’t know the timetable of rehab associated with that.
“I hadn’t asked a lot about that,” Tomlin said. “Really I’ve had all eyes focused on this week and availability as it pertains to this week. I don’t necessarily have the answer to that.”
While Tomlin doesn’t have that answer, its probably a good sign for Pouncey that he wasn’t placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday. As for Conner, once again he sounds very questionable to play.
“It’s to be determined and obviously it’s based on practice availability and performance like it always is,” Tomlin said on Conner’s status for Sunday’s game.