The Steelers ground game will be depleted today without two of their running backs as they take on the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field.
Both James Conner and Benny Snell are inactive after suffering injuries against the Miami Dolphins last week.
With Conner out, it will be Jaylen Samuels who gets the start at running back.
“The next guy has to come in there and play really well,” said Maurkice Pouncey. “We get Jaylen back. He is a slow runner. He reads the holes the right way. He is an upfield guy. It always seems like he is always falling forward. Whenever you see that as a lineman, you are like, man, all right, that is a good back. Him knowing the offense and the different things he can bring, sub-packages and things like that. It’s awesome to get him back, but it’s going to be great when we have all of them.”
Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner is confident in Samuels and knows he can do the job.
“He’s really unique as a pass catcher, a route runner,” said Fichtner. “He’s nifty in a lot of ways. We know he can be capable of being that one back that can play all three downs. He’s done it before in big games. I think back to New England last year. I mean, he’s had plenty of those moments. So, I’m just excited to have him back.”
The Steelers also have Trey Edmunds, and the physical running back is ready to do what is asked of him as well.
“If called upon I am definitely comfortable,” said Edmunds. “We just put the finishing touches on the game plan. I got mental reps, physical reps, putting the extra time in the film room, getting my mind prepared to go out there.
“The reps helped. Being out there, being in the situations, getting looks like you might get in the game. It gives you a feel for how things could be.”
Also inactive is guard Ramon Foster, who is in the concussion protocol. With Foster out, B.J. Finney will start at guard opposite of David DeCastro.
Also inactive this week are quarterback Paxton Lynch, cornerback Justin Layne, tight end Zach Gentry and defensive end L.T. Walton.
For the Colts, starting wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is inactive. Hilton was ruled out on Friday with a calf injury. Hilton is the Colts leading receiver with 32 receptions for 360 yards and five touchdowns this season.
No. 5 QB Paxton Lynch
No. 24 RB Benny Snell Jr.
No. 30 RB James Conner
No. 31 CB Justin Layne
No. 73 OL Ramon Foster
No. 81 TE Zach Gentry
No. 95 DE L.T. Walton
No. 13 WR T.Y Hilton
No. 31 CB Quincy Wilson
No. 33 RB Jonathan Williams
No. 35 CB Pierre Desir
No. 62 OT Le'Raven Clark
No. 76 DT Carl Davis
No. 94 DE Tyquan Lewis