Ridley did not play in Pittsburgh's 16-13 win over Cincinnati in Week 17. The unrestricted free agent finished the 2018 season with 80 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, adding three catches (on four targets) for 18 yards in 10 games. That is a long way from the 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns he had in 2012 with New England. At 29 years old, Ridley has lost a step, and with Jaylen Samuels (22 years old) emerging as the primary backup to James Conner (23 years old), it remains to be seen whether Ridley will return to Pittsburgh next season.
Ridley carried the ball three times for four yards and lost a fumble in Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Saints. Not only was Ridley ineffective on the rare occasion he was given an opportunity, but he also lost a fumble with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Steelers up by four. He didn't touch the ball for the remainder of the game and has failed to capitalize on the absence of James Conner (ankle), totaling just 24 yards on 11 carries across three games. Even if Conner cannot return for a pivotal Week 17 matchup against the Bengals, Jaylen Samuels is the running back to roster in Pittsburgh.
Ridley ran three times for 16 yards during Sunday's 17-10 win over New England. Forced into action with James Conner (ankle) missing his second straight game, rookie running back Jaylen Samuels ran for a season-high 142 yards, while Ridley mostly watched from the sideline. With Conner expected back in Week 16, Ridley's role may be further reduced against a Saints defense that allows the third fewest fantasy points per game to running backs (14.1).
Ridley could see his role expand with the news that James Conner (ankle) is not expected to play Sunday against the Patriots, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Jaylen Samuels wound up receiving the majority of the workload in Week 14 (92 total yards on 48 snaps), but Ridley did score a red-zone touchdown as part of his five touches. Even with a revenge game narrative looming, Ridley figures to a boom-or-bust fantasy play, entirely reliant on the whims of a Pittsburgh offense that could be limited by quarterback Ben Roethlisbergers' rib injury.
Ridley carried five times for four yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 24-21 loss to Oakland. Although rookie Jaylen Samuels had 18 touches to Ridley's five playing in place of James Conner (ankle), veteran vultured a touchdown for Pittsburgh's first score of the game. If Conner remains sidelined in Week 15, Ridley may again be used near the goal line but will face a tough New England defense that has allowed just six rushing touchdowns to running backs this season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New England Patriots||8||16.00|
|3||09/22||@San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
|6||10/14||@Los Angeles Chargers||24||20.00|
|10||11/10||Los Angeles Rams||14||17.26|
|16||12/22||@New York Jets||18||17.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||19||65||1||1||6||0||10|