Conner’s story is almost out of a fairytale, as the Pittsburgh kid and Pitt star overcame leukemia and ended up selected by his hometown team in the draft, replacing Le’Veon Bell as the starter to great effect. However, Conner’s effectiveness has waned over the last few seasons, as he has yet to top 700 yards rushing in either of the last two campaigns. When combined with some concerning injury history that has prevented him from ever playing more than 12 games in any of his four seasons, it will certainly be hard to sell fans on bringing him back.
While the lack of balance in Pittsburgh’s gameplans has been a frequent source of irritation for Steelers fans, Mike Tomlin would likely insist on feeding the backs more if he had a shred of confidence in either Conner, Benny Snell, or Anthony McFarland. With Conner also scheduled to hit the open market this offseason, Pittsburgh might have to make the tough, but necessary decision to say goodbye to Conner in the name of getting a back Tomlin trusts to get 20 touches per game.