The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive will be severely limited in the team’s Week 10 meeting with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Heinz Field.
Running backs James Conner and Benny Snell, Jr., fullback Roosevelt Nix and offensive lineman Ramon Foster will all miss the game, while wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is questionable, according to the team’s injury report released on Friday.
Conner suffered an AC joint injury in the Steelers’ Week 8 win over the Miami Dolphins and has practiced just once since then, when he was limited in action on Wednesday. After that session, Conner did not practice on Thursday or Friday in the build up to the Rams game.
Snell injured his knee against the Dolphins and had surgery to trim his meniscus afterward. He has yet to return to practice after receiving an initial prognosis of missing two to three weeks.
Without Conner and Snell in the fold at running back, Jaylen Samuels will start. Trey Edmunds, who filled in against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9 and suffered a rib injury, was a full participant in Friday’s practice and is expected to be able to suit up on Sunday.
Recent practice squad call up Tony Brooks-James will be the Steelers’ only other running back option.
Like Conner, Foster was limited on Wednesday but did not practice on Thursday or Friday and remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He will be replaced by veteran backup B.J. Finney.
Nix re-aggravate a knee injury against the Colts that he first suffered in Week 1 against the New England Patriots and originally caused him to miss six games. He did not practice at all this week. The Steelers do not have another fullback on the roster, though they have used defensive end Tyson Alualu in that role when needed. Alualu missed practice on Thursday with a knee issue but was a full participant on Friday.
Smith-Schuster was limited in practice on Friday with a previously unknown foot ailment. His status is questionable. If he misses the game, the Steelers would likely start Diontae Johnson and James Washington and use fewer three-receiver sets, with Johnny Holton and Ryan Switzer serving as depth. Switzer returned to practice on Friday after missing the early part of the week with a back injury.