Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

Updating an earlier report, James Conner (concussion) was a full participant at Wednesday's practice.

It's unclear if Conner ever actually suffered a concussion, though it's a moot point now as the second-year stud is on track to play Sunday at Jacksonville. With Le'Veon Bell done in Pittsburgh, Conner should be an RB1 the rest of the way.
Nov 14 - 4:10 PM

Unsigned Steelers franchise player Le'Veon Bell will not report by Tuesday's 4PM ET deadline and is out for the remainder of the 2018 season.

What a disaster. By not reporting, Bell forfeits the remaining $6.84 million on his $14.544 million tender. 26-year-old Bell has framed this as betting on himself and doing what is right for his fellow running backs, but this is money he will never make back. There is no guarantee a 27-year-old runner is going to cash in on the open market after sitting out an entire season healthy. Even if he does, a running back passing up $14.544 million guaranteed for one season of play in the modern NFL is not a sound business decision. It's not fair, of course, but it is reality. James Conner will finish out the year as a true bell-cow back/elite RB1. The Steelers could theoretically tag Bell again in the spring, but the sides will undoubtedly divorce.
Nov 13 - 3:48 PM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the arrow is "continually pointing up" for fifth-round RB Jaylen Samuels.

In a game James Conner left early, Samuels saw five carries and four targets against the Panthers last Thursday night. That usage is unlikely to continue with Conner fully expected back this week, but it does make Samuels something of an interesting handcuff, especially since he has tight end eligibility in Yahoo leagues.
Nov 13 - 12:19 PM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said "so be it" if Le'Veon Bell does not report by Tuesday's deadline.

Tomlin added he has not had contact with the running back and has "no reaction" to reports Bell will sit out the rest of the season. This marriage sounds done. It would be a surprise if that does not become official Tuesday afternoon.
Nov 13 - 12:15 PM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said James Conner (concussion) is expected to practice Wednesday.

Conner remains in the concussion protocol, but Tomlin said Wednesday's practice should "lay those discussions to bed." It sounds like Conner will be cleared in the very near future. Assuming Le'Veon Bell does not report Tuesday, Conner will remain an RB1 even in a tough matchup against the Jaguars on Sunday.
Nov 13 - 12:07 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Steelers are "optimistic" James Conner (concussion) will play Week 11 against the Jaguars.

Conner exited Thursday night's game due to concussion-like symptoms but will have 10 days to get healthy ahead of Pittsburgh's Week 11 matchup with Jacksonville. With Le'Veon Bell now expected to sit out the entire season, Conner will be a locked-in RB1 the rest of the way. He could be a legit league winner for owners who were lucky to snag him in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this summer.
Nov 11 - 8:38 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Le'Veon Bell isn't expected to report before Tuesday's franchise tag deadline.

It means Bell will forfeit his remaining $6.84 million salary and sit out the entire season. Bell already counts as a third-year franchise player for 2019, so there's not much upside in him returning to a timeshare with James Conner. He also avoids injury and potentially extends his career. Bell will either be transition tagged or allowed to walk next offseason, where he'll become one of the highest paid backs in the league. The Steelers can move forward with Conner under team control through 2020.
Source: ESPN
Nov 10 - 8:09 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports James Conner was placed in the concussion protocol.

Conner was never officially ruled out on Thursday night, but he did end up being placed in the protocol. The good news is he has 10 days to gain clearance before the Steelers hit the field again, but nothing can be taken for granted with concussions. It remains to be seen if Conner will have Le'Veon Bell to contend with once he is cleared.
Nov 9 - 9:30 AM

Vance McDonald caught 4-of-4 targets for 44 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' Week 10 win over the Panthers.

McDonald cashed in a plus matchup for his second score of the year. He made a lovely, diving catch in the back of the end zone, though it seemed unclear if he actually possessed the ball. The replay booth did not see enough to overturn the call. McDonald will be a boom-or-bust TE2 for Week 11 against the Jaguars.
Nov 8 - 11:46 PM

Antonio Brown caught 6-of-6 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' Week 10 win over the Panthers.

Most of Brown's damage came on his 53-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Matched up 1-on-1 with second-rounder Donte Jackson down the right sideline, Brown simply overpowered the rookie on his way to the end zone. Jackson wanted an OPI call, but it was just a little hand fighting. Brown is now up to 10 scores on the season after visiting the end zone "just" nine times in all of 2017. He should see a heavy dose of Jalen Ramsey against the Jaguars in Week 11.
Nov 8 - 11:33 PM

JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 3-of-5 targets for 90 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' Week 10 win over the Panthers, adding a 13-yard reception.

Smith-Schuster scored a 75-yard touchdown on the Steelers' first play from scrimmage. James Bradberry got confused in coverage and Smith-Schuster exploded down the left sideline. He didn't do much thereafter as Ben Roethlisberger spread the ball around on a night where he posted a perfect quarterback rating, but the damage was already done. The sledding will be tougher in Week 11 against the Jaguars.
Nov 8 - 11:30 PM

James Conner rushed 13 times for 65 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' Week 10 win over the Panthers, adding an eight-yard reception before departing with a possible concussion.

Conner was announced as "questionable" early in the fourth quarter but was never going to return with the Steelers winning 52-14. His status is unclear. Conner was in and out of the medical tent all evening. The abbreviated night helped snap a string of four-straight 129-plus yard performances. In addition to his head injury, the big question for Conner's Week 11 will be the potential return of Le'Veon Bell. Even if Bell is back, we expect Conner to start against the Jaguars.
Nov 8 - 11:21 PM

Ben Roethlisberger completed 22-of-25 passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns in Pittsburgh's Week 10 game against the Panthers, taking a seat with the Steelers winning 52-14 in the fourth quarter.

For the fourth time in his career, Roethlisberger finished with a perfect passer rating. He set the tone with a 75-yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster on the Steelers' first play from scrimmage. He also found Antonio Brown for a 53-yard score. The rest of the scores went to Vance McDonald, Jesse James and Jaylen Samuels (yes, really). The performance was extra impressive since Ben was playing banged up on a short week. Roethlisberger is not going to fare as well in Week 11, where the Steelers are venturing on the road to Jacksonville.
Nov 8 - 10:51 PM

Steelers declared RT Marcus Gilbert, QB Mason Rudolph, WR Justin Hunter, S Marcus Allen, CB Brian Allen, OT Zach Banner and DT Dan McCullers inactive for Week 10 against the Panthers.

Gilbert has not played since Week 6. Matt Feiler is filling in.
Nov 8 - 6:57 PM's Ian Rapoport reports unsigned franchise player Le'Veon Bell is "in Pittsburgh currently."

Bell was apparently spotted playing basketball at a local gym. Rapsheet reports the Steelers have no clue if Bell is actually planning to report by Tuesday's deadline, but it would stand to reason that he is. Rapsheet also claims the Steelers "really want" Bell back. If Bell finally ends his marathon holdout next week, there's a chance he would be a healthy scratch for Week 11. We will know more soon.
Nov 8 - 6:03 PM

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