Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald were both named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. For Conner, the honor continued his incredible journey after having cancer.
In an Instagram post after being selected for the Pro Bowl, Conner shared a text he received from Donald after receiving his cancer diagnosis in November 2015. Donald predicted in the text Conner would go on to reach the Pro Bowl.
Conner and Donald spent a season together in college with the Pittsburgh Panthers. The former was a true freshman and the latter a senior in 2013.
Conner was limited to one game in 2015 as a result of a knee injury before the discovery of his Hodgkin lymphoma. He announced in May 2016 he was cancer-free and appeared in 13 games during the 2016 season, running for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Filling in for the absent Le'Veon Bell, the 23-year-old has enjoyed a breakout 2018. He has run for 909 yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 52 passes for 467 yards and one touchdown.
Based on Conner's performance this year, Donald's forecast of seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro honors may not prove to be too wide of the mark when all is said and done.