The Steelers have struggled to find a running game in their past two outings, being limited to 132 combined yards on the ground in wins over the Colts and Rams.
That rushing attack should get a boost Thursday night against the Browns, however, as running back James Conner is expected to play for the Steelers. Conner has missed the past two games with an AC sprain in his shoulder.
"If we had worked today, James Conner would have been a full participant," said Mike Tomlin Monday.
Conner leads the Steelers with 380 rushing yards and four touchdowns, though he's averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. His six touchdowns also lead the team.
With Conner sidelined, Jaylen Samuels has started the past two games, rushing for 39 yards on 22 carries. The Steelers have supplemented Samuels, who has 16 receptions in those two games, with Trey Edmunds and Tony Brooks-James, a pair of players called up from their practice squad.
Without Conner, the Steelers have scored 43 points the past two weeks, though the defense provided two of those touchdowns, one on a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception return, the other on a Fitzpatrick fumble recovery and return.
The Browns rank 27th in the NFL, allowing 134.9 yards rushing per game.
After earning a Pro Bowl trip in his first season as a starter in 2018, Conner has struggled this season, posting just one 100-yard game. That came in a Week 7 win over the Dolphins, when he rushed for 145 yards on 23 carries but was injured on his final attempt of the game.
The Steelers also expect to get starting left guard Ramon Foster (concussion) back this week. Foster has missed the past two games.