James Conner injury update: Steelers RB (concussion) practices; 'nothing changes'

Ben Roethlisberger: James Conner still deserves playing time when Le'Veon Bell returns

James Conner is getting back in his groove.

The Steelers running back practiced Wednesday for the first time since suffering a concussion last Thursday against the Panthers and said he considers himself healthy.

“I feel good,” Conner said after practice Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I feel like I’m back to normal.”

Conner was evaluated in the sideline medical tent during the third quarter of Thursday’s blowout win and returned briefly before exiting the game early in the fourth quarter with a head injury.

The second-year rusher is enjoying a breakout season in place of holdout Le’Veon Bell, who failed to report to the team and sign his franchise tag by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, ruling him ineligible to play the remainder of the season. Despite his absence, Bell’s playing status doesn’t change anything for Conner.

“What’s there to change?” Conner said. “Nothing changes. We’re in Week 11. I’m doing the same thing I’ve been doing for all of these weeks. I don’t really pay attention to it. I always go by the motto of control what you can control. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

Conner, 23, has logged 1,158 total yards through Pittsburgh’s first nine games. Entering Week 11 action, Conner ranks third in rushing yards (771) and third in rushing touchdowns (10) among backs in the league.

The Steelers (6-2-1) are slated to visit the Jaguars (3-6) in a rematch of last season’s AFC divisional round game at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.