Steelers running backs Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds will miss the team’s game with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday due to injury, but cornerback Mike Hilton and defensive lineman Chris Wormley are set to make his return after missing more than a month.
Samuels suffered a quadriceps injury and Edmunds a hamstring injury in the Steelers’ Week 10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals last week and did not practice all this week.
They’ll be replaced in the Steelers’ back rotation by rookie Anthony McFarland, Jr., who is dressed after missing the Bengals game with an illness.
Outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott did not practice all this week with an illness and will also miss Sunday’s game with the Jaguars. Edmunds, Elliott and Samuels were the only Steelers to miss either Thursday or Friday’s practice sessions and had already been ruled out by the team on Friday.
Hilton had practiced in full all week and was not given an injury designation for the game. He has not been active since injuring his shoulder against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.
Defensive lineman Chris Wormley, who was promoted from the injured reserve on Saturday, will be active for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.
With Wormley returning, Henry Mondeaux will retain his helmet over Isaiah Buggs, who is a healthy scratch.
Third quarterback Josh Dobbs is the other healthy inactive Steelers player.
Mike Tomlin’s ‘MAC Guys’ Get the Last Laugh
In discussing his team’s Week 11 game with the under-performing Jacksonville Jaguars, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin chose to use a college football comparison.
“We’re not a Big 10 team playing a MAC team,” Tomlin said last week. “Every time we step into a stadium, we are playing professionals, players and coaches.”
The message was a clear one to not overlook the moribund Jaguars. That mission was accomplished, as the Steelers coasted to a 27-3 victory in Jacksonville on Sunday.
But he may want to pick a different doormat for his analogy the next time. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a MAC alum from Miami University, said he was going to make a response as soon he figured out which conference William & Mary — Tomlin’s alma mater — plays in.
Roethlisberger is far from the only MAC alum on the Steelers. Star wide receiver Diontae Johnson went to Toledo, as did backup linebackers Ola Adeniyi and Jayrone Elliott. Right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor and inside linebacker Robert Spillane are West Michigan grads. Injured linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III went to Akron and practice squad wide receiver Anthony Johnson is a Buffalo alum, giving the Steelers eight former MAC members.
And those guys came up big in the win. Roethlisberger threw for two touchdowns, Johnson had over 100 yards receiving, Okorafor was part of a line that helped James Conner to 6.8 yards per carry and kept Roethlisberger from being sacked and Spillane had four tackles.
After Sunday’s win, some of the Steelers’ MAC graduates got the last laugh, with Roethlisberger, Adeniyi, Johnson, Okorafor and Spillane getting Tomlin to pose with a photo.
“MAC guys” captioned Robert Spillane on Instagram, with laughing emojis.
Maybe next time, Tomlin should pick on the Sun Belt.
From the Steelers Locker Room: Minkah Fitzpatrick on Being Focused Each Week, Not Looking Ahead
Minkah Fitzpatrick made it clear to the media, including Steelers Now, that his team made sure to not overlook the Jaguars and is only focused on each individual week, not the possibility of going 16-0.
Mike Tomlin Downplays JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Injury
Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a minor ailment in the Steelers’ 27-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed after the game.
Tomlin characterized Smith-Schuster’s injury as part of the “minor bumps and bruises associated with play.” Smith-Schuster left the game in the fourth quarter with the Steelers leading by multiple scores.
Tomlin said that he didn’t think the injury was anything major, but acknowledge that “it could be a factor for him” when dealing with a short week of preparation upcoming. The Steelers are set to host the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.
Smith-Schuster caught four passes for 19 yards in the game before he left with the injury. Ray-Ray McCloud replaced him in the top group of receivers.