James Conner is fifth in the NFL with 909 rushing yards this season.

By Khadrice Rollins
December 04, 2018

The Steelers will be without running back James Conner when they take on the Raiders in Week 14, coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday.

Conner left Sunday's 33-30 loss to the Chargers toward the end of Pittsburgh's final drive of the game. Tomlin said Conner suffered an ankle sprain on the play where Los Angeles's Adrian Phillips tackled him and caused him to come off the field.

The team initially thought the injury was just an ankle contusion.

The Steelers have relied heavily on the second-year back from Pitt wit All-Pro Le'Veon Bell deciding not to report to the team this season. Conner is fifth in the NFL with 909 rushing yards, second in the league with 12 rushing touchdowns and fourth with 201 carriers. He also has 52 catches for 467 yards and another score.

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Without Conner, the Steelers will be in a difficult place as no other player on the team has even 100 rushing yards through 12 games. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 94 yards on the ground are second on the team, and Stevan Ridley is second among running backs with 56 yards in seven games on the field. Ridley hasn't seen the field since the Nov. 8 contest with the Panthers.

Jaylen Samuels will likely get the bulk of the carries in Oakland, as his two carriers against the Chargers were the only rushes for Pittsburgh that didn't come from Conner.

At 7-4-1, the Steelers lead the AFC North, just half a game ahead of the 7-5 Ravens. After playing in Oakland this coming Sunday, Pittsburgh will then host the Patriots, travel to New Orleans to face the Saints, and then close out the season at home against the Bengals.

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