The Steelers go into tonight's game without two of their weapons on offense as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald are both inactive. James Conner, though, is active after missing the last three games.
Smith-Schuster will miss his fourth straight game this week, still battling a knee injury. Smith-Schuster returned to practice on Wednesday as a full participant after missing the last three games with a knee injury. On Thursday, though, he was limited in practice and on Friday he didn't practice and was ruled out.
"It's tough (not being out there)," said Smith-Schuster. "I have never been in a situation where I have been out like this. It's new to me. It can be frustrating sometimes, but at the same time it's part of life.
"I am full steam behind them. I have their back, helping them in meetings. I am excited to watch them play. They have been snapping out there all week doing the job. It's amazing to see how far we have come with the guys in the building."
One of the players who has stepped up in Smith-Schuster's absence is Diontae Johnson, who stepped up big last week and is ready to do the same tonight.
"It's exciting. It's a big game," said Johnson. "We have to go in there with our best foot forward, try not to do too much. Just play our game.
"With the injuries we have had we take it each day at a time. A lot of people counted us out at the beginning. We brought Duck (Devlin Hodges) in and he has been executing. We have been rallying around him each and every week and it's been showing."
McDonald is inactive after suffering a concussion against the Arizona Cardinals last week and hasn't been cleared from the NFL concussion protocol yet.
Conner is back in the lineup after missing the last three games with a shoulder injury. He was a full participant in practice all week and cleared to go for tonight.
"James is a veteran back there, playing strong and powerful and played in cold, winter days," said offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. "You know, when it gets a little muddy out and those types of things. It's exciting to have him back."
The full list of inactives is below.
No. 5 QB Paxton Lynch
No. 19 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
No. 25 CB Artie Burns
No. 51 LB Tuzar Skipper
No. 76 OL Chukwuma Okorafor
No. 89 TE Vance McDonald
No. 96 DE Isaiah Buggs
No. 22 RB T.J. Yeldon
No. 31 SS Dean Marlowe
No. 65 OG Ike Boettger
No. 77 OT Ty Nsekhe
No. 82 WR Duke Williams
No. 89 TE Tommy Sweeney
No. 94 DT Corey Liuget