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James Conner sprains ankle in 2nd quarter, does not return to Week 1 MNF

James Conner is not getting much work, and an injury might be to blame. The team has not announced anything yet.

James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball against Blake Martinez of the New York Giants during the second quarter in the game at MetLife Stadium on September 14, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Post-game update: Adam Schefter is reporting Conner suffered a sprained ankle and will be examined Tuesday, but the team is “optimistic for a timely return.”

Depth chart update: With James Conner out, Benny Snell is the starter and Jaylen Samuels is serving in a backup role. Snell reached 100 yards on his 15th carry, while Samuels has one rush for two yards and a one-yard reception.

Update 9:30 p.m.: The Steelers announced Conner is questionable to return with an ankle injury.

Update, 9:17 p.m.: James Conner does not have his helmet with him on the sideline, which would indicate he won’t be returning to action anytime soon tonight.

Update, 9:15 p.m.: The Steelers offense returned to the field with three minutes remaining and Snell is still in the backfield over Conner. Snell fumbled on a long run on the drive, but the Steelers recovered.

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive brain trust are making some curious decisions with the backfield. James Conner entered the season-opener as the starting running back, but Benny Snell Jr. has gotten more work from him as this game heads into the middle of the third quarter. Snell has 9 carries and 45 yards and has been targeted once in the passing game. Conner has 6 rushes for 9 yards and has 2 receptions for 8 yards on 4 targets.

Conner was seen stretching on the sideline looking like he was trying to avoid getting tight. Early in the third quarter, reporter Brooke Pryor heard that he was having his left ankle re-taped, but she also noted he had not been seen since he had a one-yard carry early in the second quarter.