TE Eric Ebron is signing a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Steelers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. A 1st-round bust for Detroit, Ebron rehabbed his value a bit in Indianapolis with 41.7 yards and .59 TDs per game over the past 2 seasons. Last year, he ranked 14th in Pro Football Focus' receiving grades and 9th in yards per route run among 35 TEs with 40+ targets. In Pittsburgh, Ebron joins a TE group with Vance McDonald, who restructured his contract earlier this week. Those guys could vulture production from each other, leaving both as unreliable fantasy options. We'll see how the situation plays out this summer.
The Steelers are using the franchise tag to keep OLB Bud Dupree off the open market. The former 1st-round pick jumped to 11.5 sacks in his 5th season after topping out at 6 sacks among his previous 4 campaigns. Dupree's 17 QB hits in 2019 mark a steadier climb, compared with 6, 7, 7 and 13 over the previous 4 years.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) said he got a "good report" from doctors on Friday but is still 2-3 months away from full clearance. Even the long end of that timeline would have him ready to go by the end of May. He resumed throwing over the weekend. Turning 38 in March and coming off major elbow surgery, Roethlisberger is obviously a big question mark heading into 2020. But anything he can give the Steelers figures to be an upgrade over last year's QB play.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said Monday that he has "no hesitation" in believing QB Ben Roethlisberger will be under center come Week 1. Big Ben underwent surgery to repair 3 tendons in his throwing elbow in late September. We haven't heard much on his rehab, but he's reportedly scheduled for a checkup later this month. Pittsburgh's passing game went in the tank without Roethlisberger last year. His return would make WR JuJu Smith-Schuster an obvious bounce-back candidate -- and raise the ceilings on WRs Diontae Johnson and James Washington.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson recently underwent sports-hernia surgery. It's unclear when the injury occurred -- he was never on the injury report in 2019 -- but it shouldn't significantly impact his offseason. Johnson turned in an encouraging rookie campaign, leading the Steelers with 59 catches and 5 receiving scores and ranking 2nd with 680 receiving yards. He should build on those numbers in 2020 if QB Ben Roethlisberger is able to stay healthy.
Steelers RB James Conner (thigh) is out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. That leaves RB Benny Snell as Pittsburgh’s lead ball-carrier, with RB Jaylen Samuels the best bet for targets. RBs Kerrith Whyte and Trey Edmunds also figure to mix in.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin admitted Tuesday that RB James Conner's (quad) availability for this weekend's game against the Ravens is "very much in question." Conner has seemingly been battling injuries all season. We're not expecting him to suit up on Sunday, leaving Pittsburgh's backfield to Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels and Kerrith Whyte.
Steelers QB Mason Rudolph suffered a left shoulder injury in the 2nd half of Sunday's game against the Jets. He had replaced QB Devlin Hodges -- but "Duck" is back in the game. Pittsburgh's QB situation remains a mess.
Steelers RB James Conner suffered a thigh injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Jets. He's officially questionable to return. We'll update Conner's status when we learn more.
Update: Conner has been ruled out.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is active for today’s game against the Jets. He put in full practices on Thursday and Friday but admitted that he’s still not at 100%. Despite the plus matchup, Smith-Schuster is a shaky Week 16 fantasy play.
Steelers TE Vance McDonald (concussion) put in a full week of practice and will return for Sunday’s game against the Jets. He’s a low-upside TE2 in Pittsburgh’s conservative offense.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) labeled himself a game-time decision for Sunday's tilt with the Jets. He put in full practices on Thursday and Friday but admitted that he's still not at 100%. We'll get JuJu's game status by noon ET on Sunday. But you should try to avoid him in fantasy lineups considering the injury and Pittsburgh's conservative offense under QB Devlin Hodges.
Update: Smith-Schuster isn't listed on the final injury report, so the Steelers evidently expect him to play.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) was listed as a full participant in Thursday's practice. That seems to put him on track to return for Sunday's game against the Jets, barring another setback. That's a plus matchup vs. the league's 23rd-ranked WR defense. But between the knee issue and QB Devlin Hodges, consider JuJu just a WR3.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. It's good to see him out there after he aggravated that knee injury last week, but his status for Sunday's game against the Jets remains uncertain. We'll get another update tomorrow.
Steelers TE Vance McDonald (concussion) put in a full practice on Wednesday. He's on track to return for this weekend's game against the Jets, barring a setback. But in Pittsburgh's conservative, Devlin Hodges-led passing game, McDonald is just a low-upside TE2.
Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is active for tonight’s game against the Bills. He’s expected to draw the start but cede some work to RBs Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. Consider Conner a RB2 with upside vs. a below-average Buffalo run defense.
Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is expected to play tonight against the Bills and "should be treated as the starter," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He adds, however, that we should expect Conner to "split carries" with Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell. Conner is certainly in play as a potential fantasy starter. Just don't expect workhorse-level touches as he got when healthy early in the year.
Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Sunday night's game against the Bills. He put in a full week of practice, though, and is expected to play. We'll look for confirmation on Sunday morning.
Steelers TE Vance McDonald (concussion) is out for Sunday night's game against the Bills. Nick Vannett will slide in as Pittsburgh's lead TE but isn't a viable fantasy play.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is out for Sunday night’s game against the Bills. He reportedly aggravated his knee injury in practice this week. James Washington and Diontae Johnson will again serve as Pittsburgh’s top 2 WRs — but neither is a recommended fantasy play vs. Buffalo’s 5th-ranked WR defense.
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