Steelers RB Anthony McFarland missed the team's preseason finale with an unspecified injury. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports that whatever the issue is, "it could land him on IR" this week. That would knock McFarland out for at least 3 games. We'll keep an eye on this situation. Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage also remain on the depth chart behind Najee Harris.
Update: McFarland has been placed on IR with his undisclosed injury, so he'll miss at least the first 3 games of the season.
Steelers beat writer Chris Adamski writes that the #2 RB job is “wide open” between Anthony McFarland, Benny Snell and UDFAs Jaylen Warren and Mataeo Durant. “I’ve had a lot of setbacks, but I’ve learned a lot,” McFarland said. “Coming into Year 3, I’m feeling more comfortable and understanding what it is that I want my role to be to help the team out. I know there is a lot of doubt in my game. That’s what happens when you haven’t stepped on the field and showed much. But that’s what makes me hungry.” Veteran status makes McFarland and Snell the early favorites. But it’s quite possible Pittsburgh adds talent to the backfield this summer.
Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes that RB Anthony McFarland has “shown the most promise” among Pittsburgh backups. Kaboly notes McFarland’s scheme fit while calling his rushing ability “notably better than a year ago.” While the 2020 4th-round pick goes just 5’8, he's well built at 208 pounds. Kaboly also called Kalen Ballage a “pleasant surprise” but noted his similarities — at least stylistically — to Najee Harris. A Harris injury would almost certainly lead to a timeshare.
Steelers RB Anthony McFarland sustained a concussion in Thursday's practice, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. We'll see when the rookie is cleared, but he's off the redraft radar for now. Benny Snell will enter the season as Pittsburgh's #2 RB -- and the handcuff to James Conner.
The Steelers selected Maryland RB Anthony McFarland in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Watch McFarland’s 298-yard, 2-TD dismantling of Ohio State back in 2018 and you’d think he’s 1 of the top backs in this class. That was part of an impressive redshirt freshman season that saw him tally 1,034 yards on 7.9 yards per carry. 39 of his 131 carries went for 10+ yards that year. McFarland took a colossal step back this past season, though, battling through a high-ankle sprain and totaling just 614 yards on 114 carries (5.4 YPC). He’s also fairly inexperienced in the passing game, with only 24 catches across the past 2 years. But McFarland’s flashes are exciting. And the 5’8, 208-pounder confirmed his big-play ability with a 4.44-second 40 time at the Combine. He’s an intriguing addition to Pittsburgh’s backfield alongside James Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels.
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