JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner ruled out; Diontae Johnson to be cleared

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Ninkovich: Bengals will struggle against the Steelers' defense (1:00)

Rob Ninkovich and Victor Cruz agree that the Steelers will have to rely on their defense to defeat the Bengals. (1:00)

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without their top two playmakers when they face the winless Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner have been ruled out on the final injury report. Conner aggravated his shoulder injury in the first quarter of last Thursday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns, and Smith-Schuster sustained a concussion and a knee injury. He was seen wearing a bulky knee brace on his left knee at the Steelers' facility. Neither player participated in practice all week.

There is a bit of good news on the injury front, though. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit that left blood coming out of his ear, did not have an injury designation. He was still in the concussion protocol Friday afternoon, but because he wasn't listed on the report, he's expected to be cleared for Sunday.

The Steelers (5-5) will have a wide receiver corps of Johnson, James Washington, Tevin Jones, Deon Cain and Johnny Holton. Cain was signed from the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad five days ago, and told reporters Friday he took first team reps in practice during the week.

With Conner out, running back duties will be handled by Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell Jr., who returned from knee surgery this week. Snell missed three games after suffering an injury against the Miami Dolphins.