Jaylen Samuels' return to the backfield is "right on time," according to Mike Tomlin. The Steelers running back injuries have now hit all three backs — James Conner, Benny Snell Jr. and Samuels — leaving Pittsburgh with a difficult week on the ground.
In Week 8, James Conner left late in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. After initially being reported as an AC Joint injury, Mike Tomlin confirmed on Tuesday that Conner will have a slow week of practice before deciding whether or not he'll play against the Colts.
Benny Snell Jr. left earlier in the game against the Dolphins, suffering a knee injury. He didn't return to action and was seen around the facility on crutches. His status this week didn't sound promising, with Tomlin says his rookie status could mean he misses time without a full week of practice.
Leaving the Steelers with Jaylen Samuels. Samuels returns this week after undergoing a scope on his knee three weeks ago. The initial timeline for the running back was a month, but Samuels has fought his way back to 100% with his team in need of him.
"I'm ready to do whatever they need me to do," Samuels said. "I feel fine, feel good, feel 100%. Just ready to go and get back to this week."
Samuels isn't certain if he'll be the starting running back this week, but he's taking the role as comfortably as he's been behind Conner.
"If that's the case and that's what I got to do then that's what I got to do," Samuels said. "We've got the depth in the running back room to handle the situation that we're going through. I believe in everybody, I believe in this team."
The Steelers are hoping to have at least one of their other two runners on the field for Sunday. Even if Samuels takes on the majority of the role, the hope is to have one of Conner or Snell on the field as well.
It won't be Samuels' first time as the starter. Last season as a starter, Samuels totaled 223-yards on the ground. If he steps back into that role, he's going to follow that same play.
"I'm going to take the same approach," Samuels said. "I'm used to it, there's not going to be no pressure. Just a hard week of practice right here and prepare real good for a good team and get ready for Sunday."