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Steelers' James Conner Suffered Shoulder Injury vs. Dolphins, Says Mike Tomlin

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 29, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) warmups before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Pittsburgh, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner suffered an AC joint injury in his shoulder during the team's 27-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters.

Tomlin did not offer further specifics but will update on the severity Tuesday. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Conner "left the stadium in a sling, though that was likely precautionary."

Conner excelled in the Steelers' matchup with the winless Dolphins. The 24-year-old ran for 145 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Conner didn't appear to suffer the injury until the fourth quarter, and Chris Adamski of TribLive.com relayed after the game that Conner's "right shoulder was heavily wrapped and iced and he held that arm gingerly."

Conner has rushed for 380 yards and four touchdowns on 97 carries through seven games this season. He's added 29 receptions, 236 yards and two scores through the air.

Unfortunately, the 6'1", 233-pound back has missed time because of injuries in his three-year career. An MCL injury prematurely ended his 2017 regular season in December, and a lower leg contusion kept him out for three games in 2018.

A knee injury forced the ex-Pitt star off the field in a 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks late in Week 2, but he returned in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers.

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If Conner is forced to miss time, the Steelers backfield is in trouble. Regular backup Jaylen Samuels has been out since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in early October. Samuels was the one who filled in when Conner missed time in 2018.

Rookie running back Bennie Snell Jr. will move up the depth chart to start, assuming the reasoning behind his visit to the medical tent in Monday's game isn't serious. Tomlin said vaguely after the game that Snell had suffered a knee injury.

The only other running back on the Steelers' roster is 24-year-old Trey Edmunds, who had his first rushing attempt of the season against the Dolphins.