The Steelers running game will get a big boost tonight with the return of James Conner. Conner has been inactive the last two games but is a full-go tonight as the Steelers face a tough AFC North battle against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.
With a ground game that has been struggling, having Conner back is a big boost.
“It’s huge,” said David DeCastro. “He is an experienced guy. Any time you get a guy back that knows the offense, had those reps before, those experiences, it’s a key.”
Also active tonight is cornerback Joe Haden, who appeared on the injury report on Wednesday with an illness and was listed as questionable. It’s a game Haden didn’t want to miss after playing for the Browns before joining the Steelers.
“It’s always going to be special because I spent seven years there,” said Haden. “It’s not going to go away. I just want to win a little more. I don’t know if that is possible.”
Also active is guard Ramon Foster, who was cleared this week from the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Anthony Chickillo is inactive tonight, while linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who was signed today, is active. The good news with Elliott is he isn’t new to the Steelers defense or special teams, having been with the team earlier in the season.
Benny Snell is still recovering from a scope on his knee and will be inactive tonight. Two players who were expected to be inactive, both Ryan Switzer and Roosevelt Nix, were placed on the reserve/injured list today.
With Switzer now out for the season the team will be switching things up in the return game. Last week Diontae Johnson handled some of the punt return duties, with three returns for 22 yards, including a 14-yard return, but what will happen this week is yet to be seen.
Joining Chickillo and Snell on the inactive list tonight are quarterback Paxton Lynch, cornerback Justin Layne, offensive lineman Chuks Okorafor, who started last week at tackle, tight end Zach Gentry and defensive end L.T. Walton.
The full list of inactives for tonight’s game are below.
No. 5 QB Paxton Lynch
No. 24 RB Benny Snell Jr.
No. 31 CB Justin Layne
No. 56 LB Anthony Chickillo
No. 76 OL Chukwuma Okorafor
No. 81 TE Zach Gentry
No. 95 DE L.T. Walton
No. 10 WR Taywan Taylor
No. 22 SS Eric Murray
No. 34 DB Robert Jackson
No. 54 DE Olivier Vernon
No. 70 OT Kendall Lamm
No. 79 OL Drew Forbes
No. 94 DE Bryan Cox