Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner was a full participant in the team’s Thursday practice as they prepare for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3.

Conner has been dealing with a knee injury since the matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, and he has expressed his confidence in playing against the Niners on Sunday.

And he and fellow offensive teammate Vance McDonald were both upgraded to full practice status, according to Steelers beat writer Brian Batko.

Considering that he was on the field for practice, it seems likely that Conner will at least give it a shot in what is certainly a crucial game for Mike Tomlin’s team.

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The Steelers find themselves in an unenviable spot with an 0-2 record and starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sidelined for the rest of the season. That will force Mason Rudolph to step in under center to try to get things back on track.

As for Conner, he’ll continue to play a valuable role in both the rushing and passing attack. While the Pittsburgh offense looks much different without Antonio Brown, Conner is a versatile talent that can make big impact.

Of course, developing a rapport with Rudolph will be important for Conner, and that could determine the effectiveness of both parts of the offense moving forward.

If the Steelers can find a way to get the win in San Francisco, they may be able to gain a little momentum heading into a favorable Week 4 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.