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Steelers hold off Dolphins in Week 8 MNF, but James Conner hurts shoulder

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner carries the ball as Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Jerome Baker chases during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

James Conner injury update, 10/29 7:41 a.m.

Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that running back James Conner suffered a “shoulder/AC injury,” according to beat writer Alex Kozora. Conner was in a sling after the game according to Ian Rapoport, but there is no word yet on the severity of the injury. Conner will likely undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine the extent of the damage.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins 27-14 in Week 8 Monday Night Football, but the win might have come with a big cost. Running back James Conner suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury late in the game with it well in hand. Early speculation is that there is a clavicle injury.

The Steelers had already lost Benny Snell to a knee injury, and so Conner was getting the work late. Conner suffered the injury on his final carry with 2:15 to go. Trey Edmunds came on in his place. Head coach Mike Tomlin likely will not have an update tonight, but sometime on Tuesday we should hear something as to Conner’s status.

The Miami Dolphins offered some signs of life in this game, but once again they came up short. The Steelers improve to 3-4 with the win while the Dolphins drop to 0-7. The Dolphins were a 14-point underdog, so they did improve to 3-4 against the spread, while the Steelers dropped to 3-3-1.

The Dolphins jumped on top early, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. It looked like they might actually win in a laugher while Mason Rudolph was struggling, but Pittsburgh turned things around. Rudolph settled down, finishing the game with 251 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Conner was critical, rushing for 145 yards and one touchdown in the win.

The big news coming in was the Kenyan Drake trade. Miami is shipping off parts for draft picks, and Drake is the latest player shipped out. It seemed to open the door for Mark Walton to take over the starting job, but the Dolphins threw a curve ball and Kalen Ballage got the start for Week 8.

It should surprise nobody however that Walton really was the starter. He finished the game with 14 total touches to Ballage’s four. Walton did not have a great night, rushing for 35 yards and catching three passes for 19 yards. He’ll remain the starter, but don’t expect particularly huge performances with this offense.

The Dolphins walk away with a solid effort but their seventh straight loss. They are a half game back of the Cincinnati Bengals for the worst record in football. The Dolphins host the New York Jets this coming week, and will likely be tied with the idle Bengals after Week 9. The Steelers host the Colts in Week 9.