Shark Bites

10:09am EDT 9/20/19

The Steelers this week placed S Sean Davis on IR after he tore the labrum in his right shoulder in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the injury is not expected to end Davis' season. He'll miss at least the next 8 games, though. The Steelers, of course, also traded on Monday for former Dolphins S Minkah Fitzpatrick, who will take over Davis' spot at FS. We'll see what happens when Davis is ready to return.

Steelers RB James Conner (knee) was listed as a full participant in Thursday's practice. So he's evidently good to go for this weekend's game against the 49ers. QB Mason Rudolph and a stout San Francisco run defense add some downside to Conner this week, but he's at least a solid RB2 on volume alone.

Steelers RB James Conner (knee) didn't practice on Wednesday. His injury reportedly isn't serious, and he's expressed confidence about his availability for this weekend's game against the 49ers. But we'll feel a lot better about his status if he's able to get out on the practice field tomorrow. Jaylen Samuels will serve as Pittsburgh's lead back if Conner doesn't play Sunday.

Steelers RB James Conner (knee) said Wednesday that he's "good to go" for this weekend's game against the 49ers. Players tend to be over-optimistic about their statuses, so we're not yet locking Conner into Week 3 fantasy lineups. Let's see what he does in practice over the next couple of days.

The Dolphins traded DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday for a 2020 first-round pick, according to multiple reports. Fitzpatrick complained openly about the new Miami coaching staff playing him out of position at SS. He'll join a Pittsburgh secondary with a 2018 first-round pick, Terrell Edmunds, starting at that spot. We'll see exactly what the Steelers have planned for Fitzpatrick, who boasts uncommon versatility. Perhaps Fitzpatrick's departure will get veteran S Reshad Jones back to full playing time. Jones missed Week 2 with an ankle injury.

"Multiple teammates" believe Steelers RB James Conner's knee injury is "not serious," according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Conner "appeared to be moving fine" walking through the locker room after Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. That's the only update we've gotten on Conner so far. We'll look for more details, but it at least sounds like he avoided a major injury -- and he might have a shot to play Week 3.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger needs surgery on his right elbow and will miss the rest of the 2019 season, HC Mike Tomlin announced Monday. We'll look for more details on the injury, but it's fair to wonder if this is the end for the 37-year-old Roethlisberger. It'll be Mason Rudolph under center for Pittsburgh the rest of this season. The 2018 3rd-rounder posted a 65% completion rate, 8.6 yards per attempt and 4 TDs vs. 1 INT this preseason. And he played well in relief of Big Ben vs. Seattle, completing 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards and 2 scores. Rudolph looks capable of at least keeping WR JuJu Smith-Schuster -- and potentially TE Vance McDonald -- afloat. It's also worth noting that he played his college ball with fellow Steeler James Washington. We'll see if they can rekindle some magic.

A decision on whether Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger needs surgery on his throwing elbow is expected to come on Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. "Roethlisberger wants to avoid it all costs, but ultimately doctors will decide whether that’s possible," Schefter adds. Surgery would figure to knock Big Ben out for an extended period. Stay tuned.

Steelers RB James Conner injured his left knee in the 2nd half of Sunday's game against the Seahawks. He was able to get off the field under his own power but is officially questionable to return. Stay tuned for updates.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger hurt his elbow late in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Seahawks. He's on the sidelines without his helmet to start the 2nd half, and QB Mason Rudolph is in the game. We'll update Roethlisberger's status when we learn more.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) is not listed on the final injury report after getting in full practices on Thursday and Friday. He’s an elite WR1 vs. a Seahawks defense that just got lit up by Andy Dalton.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) was upgraded to full participation in Thursday's practice. He's ready to rock for a great spot at home for a Seahawks defense that was just torched by the Bengals passing game.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. He's fully expected to play against the Seahawks this weekend, although it'd be nice to see him get in a full workout on Thursday and/or Friday.

X-rays on the toe Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster injured in Sunday night's loss to the Patriots came back clean, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. We'll track his practice participation this week, but JuJu should be fine for Week 2 against Seattle. Even in a complete dud from Pittsburgh's offense in the opener, he racked up 78 yards on 6 receptions.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a toe injury late in Sunday night's loss to the Patriots. He's scheduled for further tests this week but told reporters after the game that he expects to be ready for Week 2. Former NFL head team Dr. David Chao believes Smith-Schuster is dealing with a "mild" sprain of his big toe based on video of the injury. We'll update this situation as we learn more.

Steelers S Sean Davis is doubtful for Sunday night's opener at New England because of an ankle injury. That means we should all treat him as out, given there are only 2 more games beyond his in Week 1.

Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels is expected to play a big role in the team's passing game this season, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. "The Steelers have been so enamored with his route-running ability that a good chunk of their post-Antonio Brown offense has been modified to incorporate Samuels’ best skills: running routes, catching footballs and creating mismatches," Kaboly writes. Samuels racked up 195 receptions over his final 3 seasons at North Carolina State and then posted a 26-199-3 receiving line on 29 targets as a rookie. He ranked 14th in Pro Football Focus' receiving grades among 62 RBs with 20+ targets last season. Antonio Brown leaves behind 168 targets from a year ago, and it sounds like Samuels is in line to soak up a bunch of those. He has a shot at RB3 value in PPR leagues -- even behind a healthy James Conner.

The Steelers on Sunday activated OLB T.J. Watt off the PUP list. Watt opened camp on the active PUP after experiencing hamstring tightness during the initial conditioning run. He appears good to go now, though.

The Steelers placed OLB T.J. Watt on the PUP list before Friday's opening practice. According to the team website, Watt experienced some hamstring tightness after Thursday's conditioning run. "He may be on for a very short period of time," Tomlin said. "He was able to complete the test. He just expressed some tightness there at the end. So we will do what is appropriate from that standpoint." It doesn't look like IDP owners need to worry about Watt.

If you ask Steelers RB James Conner about how the team plans to divvy touches among him, Jaylen Samuels and rookie Benny Snell this season, you might get scared off drafting him in Round 1. "I think it'll be spread out pretty evenly," Conner said Wednesday, according to Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. We would certainly bet on Pittsburgh siphoning a bit of Conner's work for the other guys in the backfield. But he drew 62.3% of Steelers carries last season, the league's 6th largest share -- despite missing 3 games. Conner's 76% share of team carries over his 13 games would have led all RBs for the season. So he can shed some work and still deliver RB1 numbers in fantasy. His targets could be more in danger, though. Conner drew 12.5% of Pittsburgh looks over his 13 games last year, which would have ranked 15th among RBs for the season. In the lone game he shared with Samuels after returning from the ankle sprain, Conner carried 14 times vs. Samuels' 2 but drew just 3 targets to Samuels' 8. Of course, more targets figure to be available overall, with Antonio Brown gone. And last year's 2nd most pass-heavy offense could lean further toward the run in 2019 -- which would boost carry volume. We'll see how things progress in the Pittsburgh backfield this summer.

 
 
 

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