Conner Never Considered Opting Out


Jordan DeFigio, @fidgenewton

James Conner, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back who beat cancer, said he never even considered opting out of the upcoming NFL season over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite other players who survived cancer making the personal choice to sit the season out, Conner chose to forego that option and play through the season. After having battled Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma in college, he spoke to the media this past week:

“It was never a concern for me. I’ve been healthy for years now. It was an easy decision for me. I never really gave much thought to it. I’m healthy and my immune system is back healthy. I’m not worried.”

All but three teams in the league had players opt-out due to Coronavirus, and the Steelers were one of the teams to have all players choose to report for the 2020 season. Running backs coach Eddie Faulkner addressed his mindset approaching the deadline, along with Conner’s work ethic and determination to get on the field:

“The climate being what it is and his previous situation being what it was, that can always be a possibility, but knowing his heart and where he’s at and the kind of competitor he was, it was never a real thought in my head.”

He went on to say, “It’s never anything that was approached in a conversation that he and I had or anything like that. To be honest with you, I kind of fully expected him to be a full participant. That’s just how he’s built.”

Everyone knows Conner’s desire to make an impact on the field through the running game. Cancer couldn’t stop him. Neither will Covid. He’s an incredibly strong back with a lot to prove.

If he can stay healthy, watch out.

What do you think of Conner’s decision to play? What are your predictions for his game this year? Let us know in the comments below.


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