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Video: Steelers’ Jaylen Samuels annoys Patriots by sitting on New England bench midgame

Jaylen Samuels

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels has been an irrelevant football figure for most of the NFL season. That used to be the case until James Conner suffered a nasty leg injury that forced him to miss the last couple of games, including Sunday’s 17-10 win at home over the New England Patriots.

With Samuels installed as the Steelers’ top running back since Conner got sidelined, the rookie out of NC State has managed to turn heads, thanks to the big increase in playing time and opportunity in Pittsburgh’s backfield. He has also successfully gotten the ire of the Patriots when he mockingly sat on the defending AFC champions’ bench during the matchup at Heinz Field.

Samuels, however, was a bigger annoyance for the Patriots on the field, as he was excellent in helping the Steelers move the chains. He finished with 142 rushing yards on 19 carries for an impressive average of 7.5 yards per rushing attempt. Samuels also added 30 receiving yards on two catches. He was effective right from the get-go, having collected 39 rushing yards and 10 receiving yards during the first drive of the contest, which set the stage for a Vance McDonald touchdown in the opening quarter.

Conner could be back next week when the Steelers take on the New Orleans Saints on the road, but his effectiveness during his short stint as Pittsburgh’s feature tailback will surely not go unnoticed by Mike Tomlin.