James Conner injury update: Steelers RB could practice Wednesday

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

James Conner’s absence likely won’t last.

While addressing the media on Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed the running back remains in concussion protocol, but hinted he could resume practice Wednesday.

According to NFL Media, Tomlin is hopeful that Conner’s participation will “lay those discussions” about his availability this week “to bed.”

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

Conner, 23, is enjoying a breakout season in place of holdout Le’Veon Bell as he’s 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) will look to extend their winning streak to six games when they visit the Jaguars (3-6) in a rematch of last season’s AFC divisional round game at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.