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What can we expect from James Conner in 2020?

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Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

NFL: DEC 15 Bills at Steelers Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Part 19 of our 90-part series— assuming the roster does not change before we are complete— which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

He’s from [near] Pittsburgh, he went to Pitt. and now he’s your Pittsburgh Steelers starting RB:

James Conner

Position: RB
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 233 lbs
College: Pittsburgh
Draft: 3rd round, 105rth Overall in 2017


2019 stats (Notre Dame)

116 Attempts
464 Rushing Yards
7 Total TDs
34 Receptions
251 Receiving yards


Contract remaining

Expires in 2020

$1,001,572 salary cap number (0.5% of total cap)

$176,572 dead money

$825,000 cap savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. James Conner will again shoulder the load for the Steelers. The coaching staff has shown that when Conner is healthy, he will get the overwhelming amount of the backfield snaps. I fully expect the Pitt alum to start any game he’s healthy enough to play in the entire season.


2020 projection

Any time anyone writes about James Conner, the biggest concern brought up is his health. Having missed 11 games in his first three seasons, it’s definitely fair to question whether he’ll be able to make it through a full schedule. Considering the frequency the running back position misses due to injury, I would predict Conner will have to sit out at least a game or two in 2020.

That being said, the return of Big Ben and with how teams will try to defend the Steelers passing attack, I'd expect Conner to see some favorable defensive fronts to run against in 2020.


Projected stats:

12 Games
198 Attempts
910 Rushing Yards
7 Total TDs
43 Receptions
313 Receiving yards


Summary

2020 is a very big season for James Conner. It is a contract year, and it’s quite possibly the last season where he plays his home games in Pennsylvania. Conner recently said it would be hard to leave Pittsburgh, so he just might take a team-friendly deal and line up on the shores of the three rivers for another go-round.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kameron Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney