Conner Frustrated, Unsure of Status

WATCH: Steelers RB says he has had an MRI

Josh Rowntree
December 23, 2019 - 2:37 pm

James Conner’s injury-riddled 2019 season may end in fitting fashion Sunday in Baltimore. 

Conner, the Steelers Pro Bowl running back from a year ago, has missed the majority of the last eight games with a shoulder injury and now a thigh contusion that forced him out of Sunday’s loss to the Jets. 

“I got an MRI on it,” Conner said Monday afternoon. “I’ve got to wait to see what happened on it, officially. But something didn’t feel right on it, so I’ve got to wait to see what it says.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s just part of the game… Things you have to deal with.”

Conner sustained the shoulder injury near the end of the Steelers 27-13 win over the Miami Dolphins on October 28. He has carried the ball just 19 times since then. 

With and without Conner, the Steelers have managed to be the NFL’s 26th ranked rush offense, averaging just 90.4 yards per game. 

And now, with back-to-back losses, Pittsburgh is in jeopardy of missing the postseason, needed a win and a Tennessee loss Sunday to qualify.

“We’re just going to take it day by day, keep chugging along and competing in every aspect.”

Conner, who has run for 464 yards and four touchdowns this season, has not given much thought to the scenarios needed to keep the season alive. Sunday, essentially, is a playoff game for the Steelers, but he is not ready to say if he’ll be ready to go for the must-win contest.

“We just had the game, I’m not sure yet,” he said. “We’ll see how it plays out. It’s just the situation we’re in right now. We’ve got to deal with it. 

Conner’s injury is just one of several to the Steelers, who have been hit as hard as anyone — especially on the offensive side of the football — with injuries in 2019.  

Combine that with the training camp death of wide receiver coach Darryl Drake, the fight in Cleveland, five in-game quarterback changes, and the adversity faced by the Steelers this season has been something like this franchise has not seen in some time.

"It's just something you have to do,” Conner said. “Everybody on this team, we know we've been through some things. But... we've got character."