McFarland could benefit from working with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who held the same position at The University of Maryland when the running back ran for 1,034 yards in 2018, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports. McFarland and Canada both experienced their first NFL season in 2020, with the former seldom used as a backup running back, while the latter served as QBs coach. Canada replaces Randy Fichtner, who was criticized for ranking 31st, 29th and 32nd in rushing yards during his three-year tenure as offensive coordinator. With James Conner scheduled for free agency and none of McFarland, Benny Snell or Jaylen Samuels making a strong impression this past season, it's hard to get a read on the future of the Pittsburgh backfield. The murky situation isn't necessarily a bad thing for McFarland, a soon-to-be 22-year-old with 4.44 speed and decent organizational investment in him (2020 fourth-round pick).
McFarland (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's wild-card matchup against the Browns, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports. The rookie fourth-round pick will be a healthy scratch as the Steelers head into postseason action. Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels will serve as reserve options behind top running back James Conner.
McFarland totaled five carries for 17 yards while failing to haul in his lone target in Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Browns. McFarland saw some increased usage Week 17 because the Steelers elected to rest some of their primary players ahead of the playoffs. The 2020 fourth-rounder didn't make much of an impact for Pittsburgh during his rookie season, logging just 33 carries for 113 yards while hauling in six of his 10 targets for 54 yards. McFarland could compete for an increased role in 2021 if James Conner doesn't re-sign with the team, but he should continue to see minimal work during the Steelers' postseason run.
McFarland (illness) is not listed on Thursday's injury report, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports. The rookie first-round pick sat out Week 16's win over the Colts due to an ailment, but it looks like he's already returned to full health. With the Steelers planning to sit a number of starters against the Browns on Sunday, McFarland could end up seeing increased playing time.
McFarland (illness) is inactive for Sunday's game versus the Colts, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports. McFarland was added to the injury report Friday as a non-participant due to the illness, and he won't be available for Sunday's matchup with Indianapolis. The 21-year-old was unlikely to see significant playing time even if available since James Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels are healthy.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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