Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner runs onto the field
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner is a cancer survivor, but based on what he shared during a recent interview he almost wasn’t.

Conner tore his MCL during the 2015 season at Pittsburgh. When he was being evaluated for that injury, doctors diagnosed him Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. During an interview with hip-hop artist and former Duke University pitcher Mike Seander, Conner revealed his prognosis was incredibly grim at that time.

“The doctor told me I had a week left,” Conner said (h/t dkpittsburghsports.com). “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.'”

Conner shared that his initial reaction to the MCL tear was that it “is the worst thing in the world.” Yet if not for that injury, he never would have known his body was riddled with cancerous cells.

Timing is everything. Conner underwent treatment and came out of the grueling affair cancer free. Now he’s an NFL star who has a tremendous story to tell, and who has been an inspiration to many since his recovery.

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.