James Conner is alive today because he got hurt playing football.
It was during his rehab for a torn knee ligament in 2015 that doctors discovered Conner had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with cancerous tumors surrounding his heart that would have killed him in another week had they gone untreated.
Every COVID-19 diagnosis is scary, the report on Saturday that Conner has tested positive is all the more so because of his high-risk status as a cancer survivor.
The Steelers initially were supposed to play the Ravens on Thanksgiving, but the game was shifted to Sunday before being moved again to Tuesday night. How they can even think about playing now is a real question, and you can only wonder how much worse it would all be had the game gone off as originally scheduled.
The news of Conner’s positive test also serves to make Pittsburgh’s whining earlier in the week, oof, all the worse. Like how tight end Eric Ebron said, “They keep fuckin us. We had a Week 4 bye ’cause of this, now the only time we look forward to some rest was after one of the biggest PRIMETIME games we no longer have. We keep getting screwed this year.” Or how wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster said, “First the NFL takes away our bye week because another team [the Titans] can’t get their Covid situation together, now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason. Smh.”
It came off as tin-eared to whine that way in the middle of a pandemic. Now? Yikes.
The important thing is wishing Conner a speedy and easy recovery from coronavirus. The far less important thing, the thing that doesn’t need to happen at all, is the Ravens and Steelers playing a stupid game. They’ve already won the stupid prizes.
Also, because 2020, this story is apparently still developing …