James Conner (concussion) a full practice participant


The likelihood of James Conner's availability for Sunday continues to grow.

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday as he continues to come back from a concussion he suffered in Thursday's blowout victory over the Carolina Panthers. Conner remains in concussion protocol and would have to be cleared Saturday in order to be eligible to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he was optimistic Conner would clear protocol ahead of the game.

Conner suffered the injury in the third quarter of Thursday's game. He was briefly examined in the sideline medical tent after taking a hit on a play. He later returned to the game before leaving for the locker room after the Steelers took a 52-14 lead in the fourth quarter.

The second-year running back tallied 65 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries before exiting the game.

With Le'Veon Bell no longer eligible to return to the Steelers this season after he chose not to sign his franchise tender prior to Tuesday's deadline, Conner appears to be the running back of the present and future for the club.

Conner's emergence as a potent dual-threat back has helped cover up Bell's absence. Conner has rushed for 771 yards and 10 touchdowns in addition to tallying 387 receiving yards and a TD for a Steelers team that has won five straight.