Steelers RB James Conner doesn’t practice in Wednesday’s session
Heading into Week 17, there is only one AFC playoff seed that remains undecided. The sixth seed is still up for grabs between three teams, with the Pittsburgh Steelers being one of the candidates to get.
The Steelers desperately need a win against the Baltimore Ravens to at least have a shot at that precious wild card spot. Unfortunately, they could be missing a key piece of their team, as running back James Conner missed Wednesday’s practice with a quad injury, the team announced.
Conner has not enjoyed the season he envisioned after earning a Pro Bowl nod in his second year, 2018. The University of Pittsburgh product has dealt with a shoulder ailment throughout the campaign, missing five games. On the season, he has 464 yards and four touchdowns on 116 rush attempts (four yards per carry).
Pittsburgh needs Conner to play on Sunday. With undrafted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges back in the lineup, Conner becomes a significant part of the offensive gameplan. With “Duck” playing, the offense could be limited to inside runs, check downs, and screen plays. Conner is instrumental in running all of those, and the wildcat formation that occasionally makes an appearance.
If Conner is forced to miss the contest, look for a variety of players to step up in his absence. Jaylen Samuels would take the majority of the receiving back work, and Benny Snell would take the lion’s share of the carries. Kerrith Whyte would act as the change-of-pace/relief back. Hopefully, Conner can stay healthy and make an appearance in Sunday’s crucial matchup.