Steelers' James Conner Announces on Twitter He's Been Cancer-Free for 4 Years

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers star James Conner remains cancer-free.

The 2018 Pro Bowl running back celebrated the four-year anniversary of the day doctors informed him he was cancer-free:

James Conner @JamesConner_

Thank you God 4 years cancer free today... Having cancer doesn’t define you, your mindset does. Keep fighting keep positive.. Saying a prayer for those who are still fighting during these times.. “ it started with hope” ... 🙏🏽

While still in college, Conner announced in December 2015 he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

He had been limited to one game during the 2015 season after suffering an MCL injury. He told hip-hop artist Mike Seander in July 2019 (h/t Hunter Homistek of DKPittsburghSports.com) that while rehabbing from that injury, he was experiencing night sweats and had trouble sleeping.

He visited a doctor, who discovered tumors "surrounding" his heart.

"The doctor told me I had a week left," Conner said in the interview. "He said, 'You got about a week. If you [don't] get this treated, you [have] about a week at the rate it's growing.'"

Not only did Conner recover, but he also returned to the field for Pitt in 2016, running for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns.

ESPN honored him with the Disney Spirit Award during its year-end college football awards event.

Pitt Football @Pitt_FB

"Play for somebody who can't." - James Conner Disney Spirit Award Winner #Pitt Running Back Cancer Survivor Hero to Many #H2P #ConnerStrong https://t.co/pajn02elmm

Conner's football journey didn't end in college.

The Steelers selected him in the third round of the 2017 draft, and he enjoyed a breakout 2018 season while the team was engaged in a contract dispute with Le'Veon Bell. His 1,470 yards from scrimmage were 10th-most in the NFL.

Knee and shoulder injuries limited Conner to 10 games in 2019, but he'll have an opportunity to rebound in 2020 as he once again opens the season as the Steelers' primary ball-carrier.