With James Conner out, Steelers backup RBs struggle vs. Raiders
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Pittsburgh Steelers can only hope that running back James Conner’s stay on the inactive list with an ankle injury is a short one.
Backups Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley combined for 32 yards on 16 carries Sunday in a 24-21 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The second-leading rusher was backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who had 15 yards on two scrambles.
Samuels started and had 28 yards on 11 carries in addition to 64 yards on seven receptions. Ridley gained four yards on five carries, although his 2-yard touchdown run tied the score, 7-7, in the second quarter.
“We didn’t run the ball as well as we’d like,” Tomlin said, “but that’s an 11-man job for our offensive unit.”
Conner’s status for the game next weekend against New England will be updated Tuesday when Tomlin holds his weekly press conference. Conner has 909 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the ground this season.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.