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James Conner ankle injury: Mike Tomlin says the Steelers will ‘leave the light on’ for him approaching week 2



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USA today

James Conner suffered a sprained left ankle injury during the first half of the Steelers̵

7; 26 -16 victory over the Giants on Monday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter added that the Steelers are optimistic about a timely return to Conner, who missed six games last season due to injury. Head coach MIke Tomlin added that optimism on Monday, saying the club would “let the light be on” for Conner as they approach week 2.

Conner got nine yards on six carries and caught two passes in eight yards before leaving the game. In Conner’s absence, the Steelers relied on second-year back Benny Snell, who rushed to a career-high 113 yards on 19 carries. Snell, a fourth round from 2019 in Kentucky, surpassed Jaylen Samuels as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 running back on the depth card after training camp.

A 2018 Pro Bowler, Conner – who is set to become a free agent next offseason – has been hampered by injuries since joining the Steelers in 2017. After missing the last three games of his rookie season, Conner has missed of nine games due to injury the last two seasons. Conner has proven to be a good player when he is healthy and rushes to have 1,581 yards and 16 touchdowns at 363 for an average of 4.4 yards per carry. He has also improved significantly as a blocker and as a receiver after initially struggling with both during his rookie season.

Despite Conner’s absence, the Steelers won their season opener for the first time since 2017. Along with solid excursions from Snell and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh received a strong effort from its defense, a unit that held Giants star Saquon Barkley to just six yards on 15 bearer.




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