James Conner has been named the Steelers recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for 2019.
The award is named memory of Ed Block, a former trainer the Baltimore Colts from 1954 to 1977. The award is voted on by each teams’ players as someone who is a role model of inspiration, courage, and sportsmanship.
Past recipients of the award by current Steelers are Ryan Shazier (2018), Artie Burns (2017), Maurkice Pouncey (2016), and Ben Roethlisberger (2007). Other former Steelers to win the award are William Gay, Heath Miller, Max Starks, and Casey Hampton among many others.
Going into the 2017 NFL draft, Conner was known as much for his story for battling and overcoming cancer as he was for his play on the field. The Steelers selected Conner with their second of two third-round selections in 2017. In 2018, Conner took over the starting running back role for the Steelers and was named to the Pro Bowl.
Conner has been viewed as an inspiration to many of those battling cancer. He has continued to work with Make-A-Wish foundation and Children’s Hospital.
For the 2019 season, Conner has 235 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He has also added 231 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns.