Steelers place cancer survivor James Conner on COVID-19/reserve list

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list Saturday. Conner, who battled Hodgkin's lymphoma in college, will not play during the Steelers’ Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Steelers did not say whether Conner tested positive for COVID-19. Players do not have to test positive to be placed on the COVID-19/reserve list. The list can be used if a player comes in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Conner is reportedly “in good health and feels fine,” according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. In 10 games, Conner has rushed for 645 yards and 5 touchdowns.

James Conner is a cancer survivor

Conner’s battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been well chronicled throughout his career. Conner tore his MCL during his junior season at Pitt. While running tests, doctors discovered Conner had tumors surrounding his heart. He underwent chemotherapy, and was able to return to Pitt for a redshirt junior season. Conner was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Conner didn’t play much during his rookie season with the Steelers, but broke out in 2018. As Le’Veon Bell sat out, Conner rushed for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl.

Despite his battle with cancer, he did not consider opting out of the 2020 NFL season, according to Pryor.

NFL moved Ravens-Steelers to Tuesday amid COVID-19 outbreaks

The NFL has moved the Ravens-Steelers game twice as a result of positive COVID-19 tests. The game was initially supposed to occur on Thanksgiving, but the NFL moved the contest to Sunday after the Ravens placed a number of players on the COVID-19/reserve list.

Both J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram are among the Ravens to test positive for COVID-19. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is also not expected to play after being placed on the COVID-19/reserve list Friday. That same day, the league took action again, postponing the game to Tuesday.

Steelers players were furious about the initial postponement, calling it “bulls—-.”

With Conner now on the COVID-19/reserve list, the NFL could opt to move the game again depending on whether the Steelers have to place more players on the list in the coming days. The Ravens, meanwhile, placed six more players on the COVID-19/reserve list Saturday.

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