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Monday, January 21, 2019

James Conner in concussion protocol entering deadline week for Le’Veon Bell

James Conner

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner left Thursday night’s win over the Carolina Panthers with a head injury, and Mike Tomlin announced after the game that Conner has been placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol. That’s a big story in itself, but it’s even more significant since Le’Veon Bell has just days to report if he wants to be eligible to play this season.

The Steelers have 10 days before they face the Jacksonville Jaguars, so Conner will have extra time to get clear. If he doesn’t, is it possible we see Bell on the field in Week 11? As of Thursday, the Steelers still had not heard from him.

Conner has had a monster season in Bell’s absence, and it has been believed that the 6-2-1 Steelers would leave him as the starter even if Bell did decide to sign his franchise tender. However, their backup running backs are Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels, so they might end up needing Bell should Conner’s concussion keep him out a while.

Based on some of the latest info we have learned about Bell’s situation, it sounds like there’s a good chance he may not play at all in 2018. The Steelers can only hope Conner’s concussion turns out to be nothing serious.

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