Opting out was never an option for Steelers RB James Conner

Curt Popejoy
·1 min read

The NFL saw 69 of its 2,500+ players chose to opt out of the 2020 season instead of playing. Specific reasons varied but the common thread was fear and safety in this COVID-19 pandemic.

One player who no one would have blamed for taking the season off is Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner. Conner battled Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he played at the University of Pittsburgh and his comeback is the stuff of legend.

But when Conner spoke to the media, he made it clear an opt out was never an option for him.

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.

The Steelers were one of only three teams to have no players opt out so far. Players are still able to opt out past the deadline if their situation changes. But it sounds like Conner understands the importance of playing this season. Conner is entering the final season of his rookie contract so while I have no doubt his motivation comes from wanting to win this season, making sure he secures a new contract is also going to be on his mind.

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