Steelers running back James Conner has been ruled out for this week’s game against the Raiders, coach Mike Tomlin announced. Initially, Conner was believed to have suffered a minor contusion, but it turns out that he has a slightly more serious sprain that will keep him out of action for at least one game.
Conner, 23, has exceeded all expectations this year in place of star Le’Veon Bell. In 12 games (eleven starts), Conner has amassed 909 yards off of 201 carries (4.5 yards-per-carry average) and 12 rushing touchdowns. He’s also caught 52 passes for 467 yards and one receiving score, showing that he’s a more than adequate replacement for one of the sport’s most dynamic weapons.
Naturally, the Steelers will still go into Sunday’s game against Oakland as heavy favorites, even though they’re on the road. With a win, the Steelers can further solidify their odds of making the playoffs while taking another step closer towards the AFC North title.
With Conner on the sidelines, Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels are expected to lead the way at running back. Meanwhile, the club will hope to get Conner back on the field for a huge Week 15 matchup against the Patriots.
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