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Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

James Conner rushed nine times for 25 yards while catching 6-of-9 targets for 24 yards in Sunday's Week 11 win over the Jaguars.

Conner was stifled by a stiff Jacksonville run defense, having just a long gain of nine yards on the ground. The Steelers were then scripted out of the run game chasing points in the second half. Conner added six catches, but they were all dump offs. He had a great opportunity to save his lackluster day on the final drive, but took his eyes of the ball and dropped a gift-wrapped 28-yard touchdown. Conner will look to get back on track in Week 12 at Denver.
Nov 18 - 4:47 PM

Vance McDonald caught 3-of-6 targets for 27 yards in Sunday's Week 11 win over the Jaguars.

The highlight of the day for McDonald was skying over Jaguars defenders in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown to pull the Steelers within a field goal late in the fourth quarter. McDonald hasn't reached 50 yards in a game since Week 6, but will still find himself a passable tight end option Week 12 when the Steelers head to Denver.
Nov 18 - 4:41 PM

JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 8-of-10 targets for 104 yards in Sunday's Week 11 win over the Jaguars.

Like the entire Steeler offense, Smith-Schuster was limited in the first half, catching just two passes for 16 yards before the break. His biggest play of the game was a 35-yard catch over A.J. Bouye with 1:39 left to get the Steelers into position for the game-winning touchdown. Smith-Schuster finally turns just 22-years old this Thursday, having amassed the most receptions (122) and receiving yards (1,783) before turning 22-years old in NFL history. The Steelers head to Denver in Week 12.
Nov 18 - 4:37 PM

Antonio Brown caught 5-of-13 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 11 win over the Jaguars.

Brown was erased by Jalen Ramsey through nearly three quarters with just one catch, then his entire day changed on one play. On a play in which Ben Roethlisberger extended the play in the pocket, Brown found a hole in zone coverage upfield and raced 78 yards to the end zone. It was the eighth consecutive game in which Brown has caught a touchdown pass, the longest streak since Wes Welker over the 2012-2013 seasons. Brown will look to keep the streak going next week in Denver.
Nov 18 - 4:30 PM

Ben Roethlisberger completed 27-of-47 passes for 314 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in Sunday's Week 11 win over the Jaguars.

Roethlisberger also added the game-winning 1-yard touchdown run with five seconds left to give the Steelers a come from behind victory after being behind 16-0 with 2:09 left in the third quarter. Things got off to a disastrous start as Roethlisberger had just 53 passing yards at the half with two interceptions. He found Antonio Brown on a 78-yard busted coverage to get the Steelers on the board and then added an 11-yard score to Vance McDonald late in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger will be a QB1 option next week on the road in Denver.
Nov 18 - 4:23 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports impending free agent Le'Veon Bell is seeking $17 million annually.

It's $3 million higher than Todd Gurley's average salary. Bell also wants $45 million guaranteed. It's a lot of money for a 27-year-old coming off a holdout at a devalued position, but Bell is going to get overpaid this offseason. With the Steelers expected to transition tag Bell, teams may be forced to frontload Bell's contract.
Source: NFL Network
Nov 18 - 12:03 PM

Steelers declared DT Stephon Tuitt, QB Mason Rudolph, WR Justin Hunter, S Marcus Allen, CB Brian Allen, OT Zach Banner, and OT Marcus Gilbert inactive for Sunday's Week 11 game versus the Jaguars.

Tuitt suffered an elbow injury in the Steelers blowout win last Thursday Night and was unable to practice during the week. Tuitt ranks 8th in Pro Football Focus' grades among defensive tackles in run defense on the season.
Nov 18 - 11:38 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Steelers Management council believes they'll be be able to use a $9.5 million transition tag on Le'Veon Bell this offseason.

The NFLPA expects the number to be the $14.5 million Bell forfeited this season. Bell's case is likely to be decided by an arbitrator, creating a new precedent for players who holdout under the franchise tag. We're not sure this makes much of a difference: Bell isn't going to be back in Pittsburgh and he's more likely to land an offer sheet at the lower amount. The Steelers will get to carry over Bell's $14.5M cap hit from this year into 2019 when he signs with another team.
Source: ESPN
Nov 18 - 11:12 AM

Updating an earlier report, James Conner (concussion) was a full participant at Wednesday's practice.

It's unclear if Conner ever actually suffered a concussion, though it's a moot point now as the second-year stud is on track to play Sunday at Jacksonville. With Le'Veon Bell done in Pittsburgh, Conner should be an RB1 the rest of the way.
Nov 14 - 4:10 PM

Unsigned Steelers franchise player Le'Veon Bell will not report by Tuesday's 4PM ET deadline and is out for the remainder of the 2018 season.

What a disaster. By not reporting, Bell forfeits the remaining $6.84 million on his $14.544 million tender. 26-year-old Bell has framed this as betting on himself and doing what is right for his fellow running backs, but this is money he will never make back. There is no guarantee a 27-year-old runner is going to cash in on the open market after sitting out an entire season healthy. Even if he does, a running back passing up $14.544 million guaranteed for one season of play in the modern NFL is not a sound business decision. It's not fair, of course, but it is reality. James Conner will finish out the year as a true bell-cow back/elite RB1. The Steelers could theoretically tag Bell again in the spring, but the sides will undoubtedly divorce.
Nov 13 - 3:48 PM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the arrow is "continually pointing up" for fifth-round RB Jaylen Samuels.

In a game James Conner left early, Samuels saw five carries and four targets against the Panthers last Thursday night. That usage is unlikely to continue with Conner fully expected back this week, but it does make Samuels something of an interesting handcuff, especially since he has tight end eligibility in Yahoo leagues.
Nov 13 - 12:19 PM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said "so be it" if Le'Veon Bell does not report by Tuesday's deadline.

Tomlin added he has not had contact with the running back and has "no reaction" to reports Bell will sit out the rest of the season. This marriage sounds done. It would be a surprise if that does not become official Tuesday afternoon.
Nov 13 - 12:15 PM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said James Conner (concussion) is expected to practice Wednesday.

Conner remains in the concussion protocol, but Tomlin said Wednesday's practice should "lay those discussions to bed." It sounds like Conner will be cleared in the very near future. Assuming Le'Veon Bell does not report Tuesday, Conner will remain an RB1 even in a tough matchup against the Jaguars on Sunday.
Nov 13 - 12:07 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Steelers are "optimistic" James Conner (concussion) will play Week 11 against the Jaguars.

Conner exited Thursday night's game due to concussion-like symptoms but will have 10 days to get healthy ahead of Pittsburgh's Week 11 matchup with Jacksonville. With Le'Veon Bell now expected to sit out the entire season, Conner will be a locked-in RB1 the rest of the way. He could be a legit league winner for owners who were lucky to snag him in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this summer.
Nov 11 - 8:38 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Le'Veon Bell isn't expected to report before Tuesday's franchise tag deadline.

It means Bell will forfeit his remaining $6.84 million salary and sit out the entire season. Bell already counts as a third-year franchise player for 2019, so there's not much upside in him returning to a timeshare with James Conner. He also avoids injury and potentially extends his career. Bell will either be transition tagged or allowed to walk next offseason, where he'll become one of the highest paid backs in the league. The Steelers can move forward with Conner under team control through 2020.
Source: ESPN
Nov 10 - 8:09 PM


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