Steelers running back James Conner believes he will play this Sunday, he said on his radio show on 93.7 The Fan on Monday.
Conner left in the second half of the Steelers’ 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday with a knee injury and the team announced that he was questionable to return, but he did not.
Conner told Steelers Now after the game that he did not have any structural damage to his knee, but he wasn’t sure how long he will be out. Both after the game Sunday and during Monday’s open locker room, Conner did not appear to be in any obvious physical discomfort.
“I don’t think it’s long term,” Conner said on The Fan on Monday. “I’m pretty confident I’ll be out there this coming Sunday. … They said it’s a bruise or contusion, no tear.”
Conner had 33 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries before leaving the game with the injury. He also caught three passes for 12 yards. He was replaced by second-year running back Jaylen Samuels.
“I tried everything I could to get back in the game but I would be doing the team disservice if I wasn’t able to accelerate,” Conner said.
Conner has a history of knee injuries. He suffered a torn MCL in his junior season at Pitt in 2015 and suffered the same injury as an NFL rookie in 2017.
He broke out for his first Pro Bowl season in 2018, when he replaced Le’Veon Bell as the Steelers primary ballcarrier and recored 973 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
The news of Conner’s health will be a welcome one for the Steelers. He was one of five players injured on Sunday. The team announced Monday that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season with an elbow injury.