The Steelers head into today’s game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field without running back James Conner.
Conner, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle sprain, was limited in practice on Friday. He was listed as questionable on Friday and downgraded to doubtful on Saturday.
He is inactive today.
Conner missed last week’s game against the Raiders, and without him in there the running back duties fell into the hands of Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley. Both are ready to go this week and Ridley is looking forward to facing his former team.
“I am fired up about it,” said Ridley. “I am a competitor. I am going to compete. To have this opportunity to be out there on the field going against my old team. It’s a challenge anybody would want if you have played in this business and competed your whole life.
“This game has been circled on the schedule for a long time. It has.”
Eli Rogers was activated on Saturday to the 53-man roster. Ryan Switzer injured his ankle in practice on Friday, and Rogers’ activation gives the team a safety net at receiver and as a returner.
“Eli is a shifty dude, a very quick, very smart dude playing inside,” said JuJu Smith-Schuster. “He also does punt returns, so he’s going to help out a lot.”
Rogers had been on the physically unable to perform list all season but returned to practice on Nov. 28.
“I’m excited to get him back,” said Antonio Brown. “He’s a great asset for the team.”
Both Rogers and Switzer are active today.
Chris Boswell will be the Steelers kicker today. Boswell missed two field goals against the Raiders last week, and the Steelers brought several kickers in this week for tryouts. In the end, Boswell won out.
“That was a unique experience, but sometimes tough circumstances put you in unique situations,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “I thought it was necessary. I also thought it was helpful from this standpoint: the position that Chris Boswell was in, he needed to earn his way into the stadium this weekend. We had an opportunity to bring in some credible kickers. We worked those guys out.
“Boz did his normal work during the week, and then we put ourselves in the very best position we could be in as we walked into the stadium today, which is having the ball going through the uprights. We were open to that being Boz, and we were open to that not being Boz. I think from that perspective it was fair given the situation we were in. He delivered to a level of expectation, and so now we walk into the stadium doing more than hoping the ball goes through the uprights.”
The rest of the Steelers inactives this week are: Mason Rudolph, Marcus Allen, Brian Allen, Zach Banner, Ola Adeniyi and L.T. Walton.
No. 2 QB Mason Rudolph
No. 27 S Marcus Allen
No. 29 CB Brian Allen
No. 30 RB James Conner
No. 72 OT Zach Banner
No. 92 LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
No. 96 DE L.T. Walton
No. 22 DB Obi Melifonwu
No. 29 DB Duke Dawson
No. 47 TE Jacob Hollister
No. 58 DE Keionta Davis
No. 66 C James Ferentz
No. 71 DT Danny Shelton
No. 95 DE Derek Rivers