The Pittsburgh Steelers are no longer in control of their own playoff destiny, and they'll have to defeat the division rival Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and get some help in order to advance to the postseason. As if that's not bad enough, they may be working shorthanded for the game, which you can stream on fuboTV (Try for free).
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that running back James Conner, who has missed the Steelers' last three games with an ankle injury, remains questionable for Week 17. His potential availability will be determined by whether or not he can practice during the week.
Tomlin says Sean Davis (quad), Vince Williams (toe) and James Conner (ankle) are all questionable to play this week against the Bengals. Said practice participation will determine their availability this week. #Steelers #dkps— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) December 25, 2018
With Conner out for the past few weeks, the Steelers have used a rotation of rookie Jaylen Samuels and veteran Stevan Ridley in the backfield. Samuels has gotten most of the snaps due to his versatility, which plays better in Pittsburgh's pass-heavy offense. He ran well during Pittsburgh's win over New England in Week 15 (19 carries, 142 yards) but struggled on the ground (23 carries, 71 yards) during the team's losses to the Raiders and Saints.
Conner has been one of the NFL's best and most consistent backs during his first year as the Steelers' starter, a role he inherited because Le'Veon Bell elected to sit out the season rather than sign the franchise tag and risk injury. Conner was recently named to the Pro Bowl, a deserving honor given his 1,376 total yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games. For the Steelers' sake, hopefully he can return for the regular season finale, which is obviously key for their playoff hopes.