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Steelers News: James Conner refuses to play scared due to the pandemic

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at James Conner playing in the NFL as a cancer survivor during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Let’s get to the news:

  • James Conner says his immune system is not a conern

Cancer-free, Steelers’ James Conner isn’t worried about playing amid pandemic

By: Brooke Pryor, ESPN

People with compromised immune systems are at greater risk for inflection and complications from COVID-19, but Pittsburgh Steelers running back and cancer survivor James Conner isn’t worried about the coronavirus when he eventually returns to the field.

“I’m 100 percent,” Conner said. “I had a weak immune system four years ago. It’s not weak anymore, thank God. I’m OK. I’m young and healthy. I went through what I went through.

“I’m not concerned, me personally. We’re going to play it safe, of course. I’m not going to ignore it or anything like that. But as far as me being scared or anything like that or trying to take extra, extra precautions because of my health history, that was four years ago. My body’s healed. I think when we follow our health protocol and guidelines, I’ll be just fine.”

Conner was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015 and was declared cancer free in May 2016 following a six-month chemotherapy regimen.

But NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer said he thinks there could be extra recommendations for players with pre-existing conditions, such as wearing different helmets and masks, maintaining social distancing off the field and utilizing single-use hydration.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • No teams has ever won the AFC North for three consecutive years

History shows AFC North will be up for grabs

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

Prior to 2002, the AFC Central division was a monster in and of itself. The teams who called the Central home made the regular season a murderer’s row for all involved. Just look at the teams who made the AFC Central one of the best divisions in football:

1970 - 1980s




1999 - 2001


For those not old enough to remember just how tough — and nasty — the AFC Central was, go check out some old, grainy YouTube videos showing Earl Campbell and Donnie Shell meeting in the hole, Fred Taylor and Mark Brunell in Jacksonville and, of course, Ray Lewis and the upstart Ravens.

Then came 2002, and the NFL decided to realign their divisions, making eight conferences with four teams per conference. It was then we all said hello to the AFC North. The AFC North, consisting of the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals and Browns, has had anything but a singular, dominant team since its creation.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Diontae Johnson is a top fantasy football sleeper for 2020

Fantasy Football Rankings 2020: Top sleepers from unbiased simulation that nailed Derrick Henry’s huge season

By: CBS Sports Staff

With the drama surrounding Antonio Brown, very few were dialed in on rookie running back Josh Jacobs. The former Alabama standout exploded for the Raiders to the tune of 1,150 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in just 13 games, giving owners who rolled the dice on him plenty of points and wins in the process. Figuring out the next rookie sensation means coming armed to your draft with the latest 2020 Fantasy football rankings. They’ll help you identify the top 2020 Fantasy football sleepers to target.

Don’t try to figure out this season’s latest 2020 Fantasy football breakouts on your own. Before going on the clock this season, be sure to see the latest Fantasy football rankings 2020 and cheat sheets from the team at SportsLine, given the success they’ve had in calling sleepers like Titans running back Derrick Henry.

The team at SportsLine was all over Henry from the start in 2019. He was going off the board around the fifth round, but SportsLine had him ranked as a top-20 back and graded him higher than multiple running backs who were picked in the third round on average. The result: Henry finished as the 2019 rushing champion and as the No. 2 Fantasy running back. Fantasy players who followed SportsLine’s advice got a season-defining steal.

The same model has a proven track record providing Fantasy football tips, calling past sleepers like Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2018, as well as Davante Adams in 2017. Anybody who banked on players such as those likely made a run at their league title. This same model is power by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy companies, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you’re always getting the best Fantasy football advice.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest 2020 Fantasy football rankings, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2020 Fantasy football sleepers

SportsLine’s Fantasy football rankings 2020 and cheat sheets are all over Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson. The Toledo product made his rookie season count in 2019, hauling in 59 receptions for 680 yards and five touchdowns. That production was even more impressive considering starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was out for most of the season and catching passes from the likes of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges for the majority of 2019.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • BTSC articles you may have missed

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Top draft picks for the Steelers at each position in picks one through ten

Can Saeed Blacknall squeeze onto the Steelers 53-man roster?

The Steelers are in the top ten power rankings

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