Injury Report

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Week 15 Injury Report (Patriots)

The Steelers head into Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field with a few question marks.

James Conner, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle sprain, was limited in practice on Friday and is listed as questionable.

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 will be ready to go this week if Conner can’t 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.”

With Conner missing the Raiders game it appeared the ground game struggled with just 40 yards rushing. But it’s about the bigger picture, and when it comes to having faith in the running game offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner isn’t concerned because of how they utilize packages.

“The run game is efficient based on what?” said offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. “How many times you actually hand it to him, or how many times that guy got yards in the game, got first downs? You know, we used No. 89 (Vance McDonald) as a running back last week, and he caught a screen for like 30 (yards). Is that a screen or a run? I mean, that’s kind of how you have to look at it. I look at it as how do we utilize the five players we have in an attempt to get first downs to make touchdowns. You can call it rush, you can call it pass, but we have an actual run play, a draw play, that’s blocked the same way as a screen play. One time we flipped it, one time we didn’t. 

“I don’t really look at it that way. I look at it as how do we move the chains, how do we put points on the board. Where we failed last week was we didn’t put enough points on the board.”

Receiver Ryan Switzer was added to the injury report on Friday, limited with an ankle injury. He is also questionable for Sunday’s game.

Ben Roethlisberger, who missed practice on Wednesday still recovering from a hit he took late in the first half against the Raiders that resulted in rib contusions, was a full participant in practice the last two days and is ready to go against the Patriots.  

Roethlisberger has indicated from the get-go that he would be ready to play this week and knowing the importance of the game in the playoff hunt his desire to be out there comes as no surprise.

“It’s always a big game,” said Roethlisberger. “They’re the best for a reason and everyone wants to go after them. The Patriots are one of the best teams for a reason. We are not the only team that has issues with them. They’re that good. The past is the past, we can only focus on this week. We realize what’s at stake. Not panic. It’s not going to get any easier.”

Safety Sean Davis practiced on Thursday and Friday after missing Wednesday with a knee injury. Davis will be a key component this week covering Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who got the best of the safety in a meeting at Heinz Field last year.

“I have grown from that,” said Davis. “I have become a better player. I feel like as a unit we are growing. This is a going to be a good game to test us. We are going to get a real challenge again. I am looking forward to the matchup.”

Anthony Chickillo, who was limited with an ankle injury on Wednesday, was a full participant on Thursday and Friday.

Marcus Gilbert, who has missed the past seven games with a knee injury, did not practice again on Friday and has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. 

The full practice report is below.

Pittsburgh Steelers Participation/Injury Report, Week 15

Game Status
WR Ryan Switzer (Ankle) - Questionable
RB James Conner (Ankle) - Questionable
OT Marcus Gilbert (Knee) - Out

Friday, December 14
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Ribs) - Full
WR Ryan Switzer (Ankle) - Limited
S Sean Davis (Knee) - Full
RB James Conner (Ankle) - Limited
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle) - Full
C Maurkice Pouncey (Coach's Decision) - Full
OT Marcus Gilbert (Knee) - DNP

Thursday, December 13
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Ribs) - Full
S Sean Davis (Knee) - Full
RB James Conner (Ankle) - DNP
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle) - Full
C Maurkice Pouncey (Coach's Decision) - Full
OT Marcus Gilbert (Knee) - DNP

Wednesday, December 12
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Ribs) - DNP
S Sean Davis (Knee) - DNP
RB James Conner (Ankle) - DNP
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle) - Limited
C Maurkice Pouncey (Coach's Decision) - DNP
OT Marcus Gilbert (Knee) - DNP

New England Participation/Injury Report, Week 15

Game Status
None Listed

Friday, December 14
TE Dwayne Allen (Knee) - Full
CB Stephon Gilmore (Ankle) - Full

Thursday, December 13
TE Dwayne Allen (Knee) - Full
CB Stephon Gilmore (Ankle) - Full

Wednesday, December 12
TE Dwayne Allen (Knee) - Full
CB Stephon Gilmore (Ankle) - Full

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