The Steelers face a Jaguars team today that comes in with a 3-6 record that isn’t indicative of the type of team they are.
“It’s a fast group, a disciplined group,” said James Conner. “They’ve got good guys at every position. They got us twice last year. It’s going to be a good game. We have to bring it.
“They beat us at our place. It’s going to be a good game.”
And the Steelers will have Conner when they take the field today, as the second-year running back is active after getting out of concussion protocol this week and being a full participant in practice.
The team will be missing a starter on offense, though, as Marcus Gilbert will miss his fourth straight game, inactive due to a knee injury. With Gilbert out, Matt Feiler will once again start at right tackle. The offense hasn’t missed a beat with Feiler in there, and he knows the next man up mentality has to always be in play.
“That is the expectation for every guy in the locker room,” said Feiler. “We have to trust each other and we do trust each other. If their number is called, or your number is called, you just have to step in.”
And with the Jaguars boasting the NFL’s No. 1 defense against the pass, and No. 3 overall, everyone will have to do their part.
“We have to be prepared,” said Maurkice Pouncey. “They have a great defense, good offense. They can run the ball, get the ball down the field. They have a great defense. We have to get ready to play football.
“They are really good. They rush the passer really well. We have to play good football. They have had some bad luck games in their division. They have a really good football team. Their record doesn’t show that at all.”
On the defensive side of the ball Stephon Tuitt is inactive for the first time this season after suffering an elbow injury against the Carolina Panthers. With Tuitt out, Tyson Alualu will get the start at defensive end and L.T. Walton will be active.
“You always have to have the mentality that you are going to be ready when your number is called and just don’t miss a beat,” said Alualu. “I want to do what I can to help the team win. I know it’s a part of my job, to always be ready, prepared as if I am going to go out there. It was good to get the reps this week to be ready.
“It’s always about next man up when someone goes down. As a group we have to step up and make sure there isn’t a drop off.”
Also inactive today are quarterback Mason Rudolph, receiver Justin Hunter, safety Marcus Allen, cornerback Brian Allen, and tackle Zach Banner.
The full list of inactives is below.
No. 2 QB Mason Rudolph
No. 11 WR Justin Hunter
No. 27 S Marcus Allen
No. 29 CB Brian Allen
No. 72 OT Zach Banner
No. 77 OT Marcus Gilbert
No. 91 DE Stephon Tuitt
No. 2 QB Landry Jones
No. 13 WR Rashad Green, Sr.
No. 33 RB David Williams
No. 43 CB Quenton Meeks
No. 47 LB Martell Spaight
No. 54 DT Eli Ankou
No. 73 OL Josh Walker