A walking testimony to his teammates and fans everywhere, we cheer in unison as Steelers James Conner celebrates his four-year anniversary being cancer-free.
A day that could be celebrated for lifetimes, it’s time we all stand up and give a round of applause for Steelers RB, James Conner. May 23rd, 2020. Four years since he was declared cancer-free, we have been blessed by the story & inspired by the journey Conner has displayed in every area of his life.
A feeling that can’t be described unless you bear through it, Conner never allowed this life-changing event to withhold him from life. In his self-reflection through The Players Tribune, he said himself that “I was in denial. I could hear him talking, but I was just like, Yeah, yeah, O.K.”, and that “you don’t just go about your day after you find out you have cancer. Everything changes at that point — but you don’t even realize how yet, because you just found out. You kind of have to imagine what it all means”. Hodgkins Lymphoma, to be exact, a rare but treatable disease that affects the immune system and has a 86% five-year survival rate, where Conner is well on his way towards and even more so.
A minuscule of importance in comparison to what he has triumphed through, it also has not declined his talents from being one of the best players whenever he steps onto a football field. NFL career rusher of 1581 yards, 16 touchdowns, 4.4 yards per attempt, as well as 748 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, and 8.4 yards per reception in 37 games, he leads all Steelers RBs in each category since 2017 despite not playing one full season; besides the inflation of yards per attempt from extremely lesser attempts by other individuals. Also leading the pack with the most touches by 46, next to being former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’ Veon Bell, he has shown to be a main contributor for this offense whenever his health grants him the ability to do so.
A challenge for fans to endure with, the risk GM Kevin Colbert and company took with Conner can be argued, but it’s not to be unappreciated. Yes, from a roster-building standpoint, things could be looked back on & said that they did it to themselves, but this was more of giving a chance to a more incredible human being that he is on the field. Nearly a year after being diagnosed with cancer, Conner was back at the University of Pittsburgh rushing for 1000+ yards & 16 touchdowns.
A testimony for fans the lengths these athletes can go to and the feats they can accomplish. A story that has so much more to say than what was detailed here & still writing its book to this day. A player that will forever be supported through the Steel Curtain community & appreciated for all he has done for the city of Pittsburgh. Let’s ring the bell once again for James Conner.