RB James Conner - Pittsburgh Steelers

6-1, 233Born: 5-5-1995College: PittsburghDrafted: Round 3, pick 2017

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Conner (shoulder) is out for Week 14

News you need to know

General News (Thu Dec 5): partially participated in Thursday's practice.

General News (Wed Dec 4): partially participated in Wednesday's practice.

General News (Tue Dec 3): has a chance to practice Wednesday, Dec. 4, and he'll be questionable this week.

Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals

All RB vs ARI

FBG says: Neutral matchup. As has been the case for weeks, James Conner's status is unlikely to be known until the weekend. Conner has missed most of the Steelers' past five games with a shoulder injury, though he did seem closer last week. If Conner can't go, rookie Benny Snell should continue to carry the load in this backfield. Snell has taken on 43% of the Steelers' snaps over the past 2 weeks but 65% of the carries, totaling 161 yards at 4.4 per attempt. He's the definition of a plodder, lacking impressive speed or quickness, but he churns out moderate production behind the Steelers' dominant front line. He's posted more rushing efficiency than Conner (3.8 per carry), in fact. They'll get All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey back from suspension this week, which bodes well for the entire stable of backs. The surest thing here is Jaylen Samuels, though with just 34 carries in Conner's absence, he's settled firmly into a third-down role. It will be either Conner or Snell posting hefty rushing volume on Sunday; Friday's injury report will tell the tale. The Cardinals run defense has served as one of 2019's most generous matchups. They've been fairly average from an efficiency standpoint, giving up 4.3 yards per carry, good for 17th in the league. But those numbers have largely been weighted down by a handful of favorable matchups. They've allowed strong rushing lines to a wide variety of runners, from the studs (Christian McCaffrey, Lamar Jackson) to the struggling (Devonta Freeman, Joe Mixon). Linebackers Jordan Hicks and Haason Reddick have served as one of the league's worst duos, routinely missing tackles on the second level. Safety Budda Baker has developed into a run-support star, but he's relied upon way too much by this shaky group. The Steelers will send tons of rushing volume at the Cardinals Sunday, and they project for solid efficiency to boot. Either James Conner or Benny Snell will boast a real shot at 25+ attempts and a 100-yard finish.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
11 at CLE 13 5 10 0 2 1.0 6 0 0 1.6
12 at CIN 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
13 vs CLE 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
14 at ARI PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 0.0 * * * *
14 at ARI PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 0.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

James Conner's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 11 vs CLE (5 / 10 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

In Week 11, James Conner returned from a shoulder injury he suffered two weeks prior. It was believed Conner was held out of Week 10's matchup to save himself for this game. Conner's night started off almost breaking a long run to the outside when he was taken down by a shoestring tackle. Conner even fell down on a route out of the backfield. He eventually got up and flashed as a checkdown for Mason Rudolph for a short gain. Unfortunately, similar to previous weeks, Conner's night was cut very short. He exited the game with an aggravation of his shoulder injury from two weeks prior.

2019 Week 6 vs LAC (16 / 41 / 1 rush, 7 / 7 / 78 / 1 rec)

With the exception of a Thomas Davis body slam, there wasn't much slowing down James Conner or the Steelers running backs in Week 6. Conner does not have gamebreaker ability, but his smoothness and patience are always on display, Conner is a reliable receiver out of the backfield, never goes down by arm tackles and is willing to take defenders on one on one to finish runs. Against the Chargers, Conner's abilities were on full display as he touched the ball on nine of the first eleven plays for the Steelers, including a touchdown run. On Conner's first touchdown a simple combination block when Vance McDonald chipped at his first defender, disengaged and took on a second defender at the second level spring Conner for his long touchdown. Conner followed McDonald perfectly through the hole and was untouched on his first score. Conner's second score of the night was a reception out of the backfield. Like most of the night, defenders were bouncing off of Conner or weren't able to get a good grip on him. In the third quarter James Conner was finally hit and he was hit hard. As he was hurdling a defender, Thomas Davis caught Conner in mid-air and slammed him to the ground. Conner immediately left the game and was used sparingly for the remaining time.

2019 Week 5 vs BAL (14 / 55 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The rushing totals are a start, but in a game where Conner had multiple big runs and the starting quarterback exited the game, Conner's usage was low. In fact, since becoming the starter in 2018, this is the first time James Conner has not received at least one target and the second time in 17 games he hasn't received at least three targets. To make matters worse, Conner didn't even see a touch until the third possession of the game. When Conner did touch the ball on the third drive, he touched the ball three times for more than five yards each time. Conner did not have a highlight run on the night, but he also did not have a bad run on the night. Conner was consistently pushing the pile, getting small through the hole at the line of scrimmage and showing the patience always get the yards available to him.

2019 Week 4 vs CIN (10 / 42 / 0 rush, 8 / 8 / 83 / 1 rec)

It isn't always about the big flashy plays. Sometimes it is about letting your playmakers find their footing and allowing them to make plays and not being the reason, those players can't make plays. During most of the game Rudolph had handcuffs on. Passes being throw were all within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Late in the second half the short throws began going for large gains. The pass-rush wasn't getting to Rudolph and simple screen passes being taken for large gains. Rudolph's first touchdown of the game came on a screen pass to James Conner on a spring right. Rudolph was able to hit Conner in traffic and place the ball in a place where he could work after the catch. There wasn't much downfield throwing in this game, but Rudolph did take two deep shots downfield. The first was to Johnny Holton incomplete, but the second was for a touchdown to Diontae Johnson. Johnson was lost in the mix in coverage and Rudolph was able to hit him on a deep post. It wasn't a perfect throw as Rudolph almost overthrew Johnson, but it was just good enough.

2019 Week 3 vs SF (13 / 43 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 14 / 0 rec)

There was nothing flashy about Conner's performance against the 49ers, but he was reliable until he wasn't. Throughout the game Conner was showing well. Consistently running through contact, being an outlet for Mason Rudolph with pressure coming and picking his way through traffic with great patience. Conner's best run of the game came on his first run of the third quarter. It was an outside zone run and Conner showed solid explosion and finish the run strong. Unfortunately, with the Steelers winning by three points and trying to grind out the clock, Conner fumbled the football giving the 49ers great field position to score their winning touchdown.

2019 Week 2 vs SEA (11 / 33 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)

It looked like early on in the game James Conner was going to be a focal point of the game. The Steelers were using the Seahawks aggressiveness against them as Roethlisberger, and Rudolph, were allowing oncoming rushers to get close and then hit Conner in the flat when they over pursued their angle. James Conner, by both quarterbacks, handled significant punishment when targeted. On a reception in the third quarter Conner didn't catch, he was hit hard immediately after missing the catch and again late in the third quarter before leaving with a knee injury. Conner had multiple runs where he was close to breaking off a bigger run than what he had. Conner's best run of the night came on a run up the middle. It looked like there wasn't any room, but Conner got small and navigated himself through the Steelers line for a 10+ yard run.

2019 Week 1 vs NE (10 / 21 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 44 / 0 rec)

After touching the ball on four out of the first five plays of the game, it looked like the Steelers were planning on feeding Conner a healthy workload against the Steelers. Conner did not have any big gains to start the game, but was picking his way through the Patriots defense patiently and taking what was given. After the first five plays of the game, James Conner did not see another touch until the second quarter of the game, when he was stuffed on a third and short, forcing the Steelers to punt the ball. On their fourth possession of the game, Conner received three straight toss plays. On the first, Conner picked up five yards and followed his pulling guard perfectly. The second, was a quick toss to the left from shotgun where Conner caught the ball and picked his way through the center of the Patriots offense. On the third straight toss, which looked identical to the first, linebacker Jamie Collins cut through the Steelers offensive line and tackled Conner for a four yard loss on third down, stalling another Steelers drive. Conner's best run came in the second quarter. He was lined up in the slot and ran a drag route. Conner made the defender miss and was able to take advantage after the catch. Conner looked to be removed from the game early when it was out of hand.

More

Latest News

Steelers | James Conner limited (Thu Dec 5, 04:14 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) was limited during practice Thursday, Dec. 5.

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Steelers | James Conner says he'll miss game (Thu Dec 5, 02:16 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) said Thursday, Dec. 5, that he will miss the team's Week 14 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Our View: Benny Snell should get the majority of the carries and it sets him up for an RB2/Flex worthy status against a Cardinals defense that had trouble with Todd Gurley last week.
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Steelers | James Conner limited in practice (Wed Dec 4, 03:53 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Our View: Benny Snell would be the team's grinder if Conner has to miss more time. Track Conner's status during the week of practice with an eye on Friday as the most important day.
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Steelers | James Conner could practice Wednesday (Tue Dec 3, 01:23 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) has a chance to practice Wednesday, Dec. 4, and he'll be questionable this week.

Our View: Keep an eye on Conner's status as the week of practice goes on. Benny Snell will handle the workload as a ball-carrier while Jaylen Samuels would get looks as a receiver out of the backfield if Conner has to miss the game against the Cardinals on Sunday.
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Steelers | James Conner to miss Week 13 (Sun Dec 1, 11:45 AM) - Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 13 game.

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More News

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Schedule

14@ Arizona Cardinals
15vs Buffalo Bills
16@ New York Jets
17@ Baltimore Ravens