Running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to report to the Steelers during their Week 7 bye, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hoping incumbent back James Conner will retain a role within the club’s offense even after Bell returns. “I will push for James to get as much run as we can because we’ve seen some great things from him in all phases of football,” Roethlisberger told Sean Gentille of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s picking up blitzes, he’s catching the ball, he’s running hard and making plays and playing with a passion, so we need to keep using that.” Conner, a third-round pick in 2017, is currently fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts and seventh in rushing yards, and he’s scored five times on the ground.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- T.J. Yeldon has been the primary ball-carrier for the Jaguars while Leonard Fournette deals with a hamstring injury, and that doesn’t figure to change even after Jacksonville signed veteran running back Jamaal Charles earlier this week, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Jaguars also added running back David Williams off the Broncos’ practice squad, and while they could look to slightly lighten Yeldon’s load, he’ll still remain the main option in Jacksonville’s backfield. With Corey Grant injured last Sunday, Yeldon handled 92% of the Jaguars’ offensive snaps, managing 122 total yards and one touchdown in the process.
- The Saints added two voidable years to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater‘s contract after acquiring him from the Jets earlier this year, and Nick Underhill of the Advocate (Twitter link) has provided a few more details on the restructure. Bridgewater’s deal will automatically void 10 days prior to the start of the 2019 league year next March, so his 2019 and 2020 base salaries — each of which is valued at $22MM — will never factor into New Orleans’ books. However, once Bridgewater’s contract voids, his future signing bonus proration will immediately accelerate onto the Saints’ salary cap, meaning the club will take on an extra $2.71MM next spring.
- Derek Anderson‘s one-year deal with the Bills is worth a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum of $1.015MM, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Anderson received a minimum salary benefit deal, meaning he’ll only count against Buffalo’s salary cap at the rate of a second-year player plus his signing bonus, which accounts for a total cap charge of $503,326. The 35-year-old Anderson spent the past seven seasons as a backup to Cam Newton in Carolina, and attempted just 168 passes during that time. He’ll mentor rookie quarterback Josh Allen in Buffalo.