James Conner out for Steelers' Crucial Clash vs. Ravens with Quad Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing a must-win game on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, but they will reportedly be without their primary running back and center.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Steelers ruled James Conner (thigh) and Maurkice Pouncey (knee) out for the game. Both players left Pittsburgh's Week 16 loss to the New York Jets with injuries.

Conner dealt with a shoulder injury earlier in the season and has appeared in just 10 games. He is averaging a career-worst 4.0 yards per carry for 464 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground, a notable step back from last year when he ran for 973 yards and 12 scores.

He does have 251 receiving yards and three touchdown catches but has not been the same playmaker for the Steelers as he was last season while filling in for Le'Veon Bell.

Pittsburgh relied on the combination of Kerrith Whyte, Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels in the backfield during the loss to the Jets after Conner exited.

As for Pouncey, he missed two games this season after he was suspended for his role in the scuffle with the Cleveland Browns that included Myles Garrett hitting Mason Rudolph in the head with the quarterback's own helmet.

Pouncey is an eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection. He is a key part of the offensive front for a Steelers team that needs to beat the Ravens and hope the Houston Texans defeat the Tennessee Titans to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.