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Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner expected to miss Week 16 vs. Saints

James Conner, Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner is reportedly expected to be sidelined once again for the team’s Week 16 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

Conner has missed the past two weeks due to an ankle injury that he suffered in Pittsburgh’s 33-30 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers back in Week 13.

He’s been the workhorse back for the Steelers this season after Le’Veon Bell chose to sit out the entire season, with Conner racking up 909 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 52 passes for 467 yards and a touchdown.

However, it looks like the ankle issues will keep him out for another week, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

James Conner made his first Pro Bowl but don’t look for him to play Sunday for the Steelers in New Orleans. That high ankle sprain is going to take more time to heal

This would seem to fit with what Conner told reporters on Wednesday, as he’s clearly not able to make all the necessary moves right now.

Here are the specifics from Conner on whether he thinks he’ll be able to suit up, courtesy of Joe Rutter of TribLIVE.com:

James Conner on his availability Sunday: “I’m trying, man. It’s day by day. These high ankle sprains are deceiving. I can walk around fine, Im not limping. When I’m out there on the field, cutting and stuff, I’m not ready yet.” Conner said he did some jogging Wednesday.

With Conner likely out again, that will force the Steelers to turn to the duo of Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley to keep things flowing in the rushing attack.

After the matchup with the Saints, the Steelers will finish the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.