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Steelers activate Eli Rogers, place Marcus Gilbert on injured reserve |

Steelers activate Eli Rogers, place Marcus Gilbert on injured reserve

| Saturday, December 15, 2018 4:21 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Patriots’ Duron Harmon intercepts a tipped pass in the end zone next to the Steelers’ Eli Rogers late in the fourth quarter Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, at Heinz Field.

It has taken 11 months and 13 games, but wide receiver Eli Rogers will finally suit up for the Pittsburgh Steelers again.

The Steelers made the news official Saturday when they activated Rogers from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Rogers is expected to be in uniform Sunday when the Steelers play the New England Patriots at Heinz Field.

Rogers tore his ACL late in the Steelers’ playoff loss to Jacksonville in January. The Steelers re-signed him to a one-year contract on the day training camp opened in July, but he was not cleared to return to practice until Nov. 28.

Rogers’ return could mean that slot receiver Ryan Switzer won’t play against the Patriots. Switzer showed up on the injury report Friday with an ankle injury and is listed as questionable.

The Steelers had to decide by next week whether to activate Rogers or place him on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Instead, right tackle Marcus Gilbert is the player who will head to injured reserve. He was placed on the list Saturday so the Steelers could make room on the 53-man roster for Rogers.

Gilbert has missed seven consecutive games with a knee injury. Matt Feiler has started in his absence.

Rogers played in 27 games for the Steelers in the 2016-17 seasons, making 12 starts. He has 66 catches for 743 yards and four touchdowns.

Conner downgraded

The Steelers made a change to their injury report Saturday when they downgraded running back James Conner from questionable to doubtful. Conner has not participated in a full practice since suffering an ankle sprain in the Steelers’ loss to the Los Angeles Chargers two weeks ago.

Stevan Ridley and rookie Jaylen Samuels filled in for Conner last Sunday in a 24-21 loss at Oakland, and they will be the primary running backs if Conner is unable to play against the Patriots.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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