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 limped by quarterback Ben Roethlisbergers' rib injury.
With Conner out of the lineup last Sunday in Oakland, Jaylen Samuels earned most of the snaps (48 of 60 on offense) among active Pittsburgh running backs and outpaced Ridley in touches (18 to five) and yards from scrimmaged (92 to four). However, Ridley cashed in with a touchdown inside the five-yard line. If Conner returns this weekend, all bets are off as to how much work Ridley and Samuels reasonably can expect to get. That said, the above breakdown may be the reality if Conner sits out again, which makes Ridley a TD-or-bust option, at best.
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), it was the veteran who 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 running backs just six rushing touchdowns this season.
Jaylen Samuels said he Wednesday that he would serve as the Steelers' starting running back this weekend against Oakland, but he acknowledged the expectation of splitting snaps with Ridley, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
The Steelers may opt to take a hot-hand approach to their backfield in the absence of James Conner (ankle), who will be sidelined for the first time all season. It's also possible the Steelers adjust the personnel based on game script, in which case Samuels' receiving ability would give him a clear edge if the team plays from behind or lands in a tight contest, whereas Ridley might end up with more touches if Pittsburgh is looking to drain the clock. With Conner dominating the playing time up to this point, Samuels has logged just 56 offensive snaps this season while Ridley has played 42.
With James Conner (ankle) out this week, Ridley is in line for added work Sunday against the Raiders.
The same applies to Jaylen Samuels, with some form of time-share likely on tap while Conner is sidelined. Meanwhile, the team promoted Trey Edmunds from its practice squad Tuesday for added depth. While it wouldn't surprise us if the likely committee approach favors Samuels, Ridley is still worth a speculative add for those with extra roster space to work with.
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|2011||New England Patriots||16||2||87||441||5.1||33||1||5||18|
|2012||New England Patriots||16||12||290||1263||4.4||41||12||6||82|
|2013||New England Patriots||14||6||178||773||4.3||29||7||3||39|
|2014||New England Patriots||6||5||94||340||3.6||43||2||1||16|
|2015||New York Jets||8||1||36||90||2.5||13||0||0||5|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||2||3||13||4.3||8||0||0||0||0|
|2012||New England Patriots||16||12||6||51||8.5||20||0||1||0||2|
|2013||New England Patriots||14||6||10||62||6.2||24||0||1||0||2|
|2014||New England Patriots||6||5||4||20||5.0||7||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New York Jets||8||1||4||-2||-0.5||3||0||0||0||0|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||7||152||21.7||32||0||0|
|2012||New England Patriots||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||14||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||6||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||New York Jets||8||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2012||New England Patriots||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||14||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||6||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||New York Jets||8||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2011||New England Patriots||16||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2012||New England Patriots||16||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||14||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New York Jets||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|