James Conner could be on the field Sunday.
The 23-year-old Steelers running back has been out since he sprained his ankle against the Chargers on Dec. 2. But, Conner has a “realistic chance” to play in Pittsburgh’s crucial matchup with the Bengals on Sunday, according to a report from NFL Network.
“We’ll be watching him close and seeing if he’s going to be a positive contributor to our efforts this week,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said about Conner on Tuesday.
#Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters today on RB James Conner: “We’ll be watching him close and seeing if he’s going to be a positive contributor to our efforts this week.“ At the least, my understanding is that he has a realistic chance of playing.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 25, 2018
Conner has had a breakout season filling in for Le’Veon Bell, who will miss all of 2018 after holding out over a contract dispute. The second-year back has averaged 4.5 yards per carry and tallied 12 touchdowns on the ground in 11 games for Pittsburgh.
Conner, who was named to his first Pro Bowl earlier this month, has also been a pass-catching threat out of the backfield as he has recorded 467 receiving yards and a score this season.
The Steelers (8-6-1) can make the playoffs if they beat the Bengals and the Ravens fall to the Browns in Week 17. Pittsburgh would also reach the postseason with a victory and a tie between the Titans and Colts.