Steelers' James Conner ruled out against Raiders

James Conner will miss the Pittsburgh Steelers' match with the Oakland Raiders after his ankle injury was found to be worse than first thought.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday at his weekly press conference that Conner's ankle contusion is now considered a sprain and he will be held out on the road against the Raiders (2-10) on Sunday.

Originally, it was reported the 23-year-old's problem was not serious and that the team needed to wait for the swelling to go down before they made a clearer assessment.

"James Conner's injury is probably a little more significant than we initially thought," Tomlin told reporters ahead of the Week 14 game.

"I don't know if you would describe it as a high-ankle sprain. It is an ankle sprain, much more than a contusion initially thought to be."

In Conner's absence, Tomlin said the Steelers (7-4) will use a running back committee to fill the void, with Jaylen Samuels, Stevan Ridley and Trey Edmunds in the mix for snaps.

Samuels came in when Conner, who had scored two touchdowns, left last week's loss against the Los Angeles Chargers – the Steelers' second straight defeat - and played well. 

He caught a 10-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter, although he also fumbled the ball.

The loss of Conner is a huge blow to Pittsburgh, especially after he filled Le'Veon Bell's shoes and stepped up as the starting running back this season.

Conner has 909 rushing yards and 467 receiving yards for 13 total touchdowns.

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