Le'Veon Bell (contract dispute) didn't sign his franchise tender by Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, ensuring Conner will remain the Steelers' starting running back going forward, Bob Labriola of the team's official site reports.

With Bell ineligible to play for the rest of the season, the Steelers will continue onward with Conner is the unquestioned lead running back. Through nine games, Conner has received 78 percent of the designed runs and 14 percent of the targets, marks that closely mimic Bell's -- 81 and 19 percent, respectively -- from a season ago, per Mike Clay of ESPN.com. The huge workload has translated to five games of 100-plus yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns, making Conner a weekly must-start no matter the matchup.

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