The Steelers could try to re-sign Conner, but they won't necessarily bring him back as their starting running back, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Conner was the team's lead back for the final three season of his rookie contract, starting with a breakout 2018 in which he piled up 1,470 total yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games. He sunk to 715 yards and seven TDs in 10 games the next season, before putting up 936 yards and six scores across 13 appearances in 2020. The 2017 third-round pick can become an unrestricted free agent in March, two months prior to his 26th birthday. Staying in Pittsburgh might give him his best shot at a starting job, though it would depend on the team's other transactions in free agency and the draft. None of the guys behind Conner in the Pittsburgh backfield -- Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland, Jaylen Samuels -- was able to make a significant impact in 2020, with the team finishing dead last in both rushing yards (1,351) and yards per carry (3.6).
Conner rushed the ball nine times for 37 yards in Week 17 against the Browns. He added five receptions for 25 yards. Conner led the Steelers' backfield with nine carries, though the team attempted only 20 total rushes for the game. He remained involved as a receiver and has combined for 10 receptions and 70 yards across his last two games. Conner ends the regular season with 936 total yards, falling shy of 1,000 for the second consecutive campaign. He will presumably serve as the team's lead back throughout its playoff run prior to entering the offseason as a free agent.
Conner (quadriceps) carried five times for 20 yards and a touchdown while catching all five of his targets for an additional 45 yards during Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts. Returning from a one-game absence, Conner marked the occasion with a one-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter. His carries were limited as his team trailed for the majority of the game, but he offset that by notching new season highs in catches and receiving yards. Conner has been held under 40 rushing yards in four of his last five games, but he is presumably healthy now and will look to finish the regular season on a high note in next Sunday's finale against the Browns.
Conner (quadriceps) practiced fully Wednesday, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports. The full workout puts Conner -- who sat out Monday's loss to the Bengals -- on track to be available this weekend against the Colts. That said, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Networkreported earlier in the week that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that Benny Snell would "have the opportunity to be impactful" Week 16, after he accounted for 107 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 21 touches versus the Bengals. If that ends up being the case, Conner could have a much lower fantasy floor compared to previous weeks, when he's acted as the Steelers' clear lead back.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Conner (quadriceps) may be available for Sunday's game against the Colts, but he wouldn't guarantee that the 25-year-old would serve as Pittsburgh's lead back if he suits up, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network reports. Though the Steelers suffered an embarrassing 27-17 loss to the 3-10-1 Bengals while Conner was sidelined Week 15, fill-in starter Benny Snell was one of the few bright spots for Pittsburgh, rushing 18 times for 84 yards and a touchdown and hauling in three of four targets for 23 yards. Per Kinkhabwala, Tomlin said Tuesday that Snell will "have the opportunity to be impactful" against the Colts, suggesting Pittsburgh could opt for a timeshare out of the backfield if Conner gains clearance to play. With no touchdowns and only 185 yards from scrimmage over his previous four outings, Conner's fantasy value had already been on the decline, and the prospect of him sharing work coming off an injury would only further dim his appeal.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||121||527||5||30||249||1||112|