James Conner was looking to bounce back against the Giants last Monday. That didn't work out well for him, but fortunately, he did not suffer a serious ankle injury in the game. Before the season started Conner said it would be hard to leave Pittsburgh because of what the City means to him. He played with Pittsburgh in college and pro football with the Steelers. He has not played football for any other city in his career.
“It would be hard to put another helmet on, just because of everything and what this city means to me,” Conner said. “This city I played my college ball in, the city I had my life saved in, became healthy. The city I got drafted to and I want to be able to say the city I brought a championship to. It would be hard. I’m Pittsburgh through and through."
Despite not being able to stay healthy for the Steelers and not completing a 16 game season without missing a game, Conner is still staying positive. Especially when it comes to splitting carries. He is in Pittsburgh for a Championship. Conner says he is an unselfish player.
“Having the ‘starter’ label, I’m not really a selfish guy,” Conner said after practice Friday, his second in a row in which he participated fully. “I just want to be able to be out there and compete.”
He is frustrated by the injury because he wanted to bounce back this season. Before he left with the injury he only had 15 snaps and carried the ball for only 9 yards. Then Benny Snell came in and rushed for 113 yards while Conner was sitting on the bench watching. James said it hurt to put pressure on his ankle therefore he couldn't come back into the game. He did get treatment over the weekend for his injury and practiced Thursday and Friday.
“I’ll keep on getting treatment on it, keep feeling it out, but definitely trending in the right direction,” Conner said, adding that he feels “almost” 100% going into the weekend.
James Conner wants to be the ultimate competitor as well as win games for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has shown over time he wants to be the best teammate he can be for the Steelers. By staying positive, trying to stay on the field, and taking his work seriously. It's just unfortunate that Conner has succumbed to injuries throughout his career. Conner did have some positive words for Benny Snell this week after practice.
“I just see a guy who’s constantly been improving ever since I’ve seen him step into this organization,” Conner said. “It’s so cool to see a guy just take it so seriously and transform his body, and he’s playing big for us.”
It is still uncertain how the runningback position will play out in Pittsburgh, but today is a very important game for James Conner to bounce back. Could it be a turning point for Tomlin? Can Conner overcome his ankle injury and finally break out? Stay tuned.