Steelers running back James Conner has been a free agent for nearly a month now, and while he’s taking a visit to see the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, one of the reasons for his apparent lack of a market has also been revealed.
Conner had surgery to repair a turf toe-type injury this offseason, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and is not expected to fully recover until June.
According to Rapoport, Conner suffered the injury while riding in a recreational vehicle and that his surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson, a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based surgeon that specializes in the field.
Conner rushed for 721 yards on 169 carries for the Steelers in 2020, exactly mimicking his career average of 4.3 yards per carry. In four seasons in Pittsburgh, he rushed for 2,302 yards and 22 touchdowns.
The Steelers have yet to replace Conner, who was the team’s primary running back for each of the past three seasons. They have added free agent Kalen Ballage and still have backups Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr. and Jaylen Samuels.
The trip to Arizona is the first reported free agent visit for Conner, who is one of a number of big-name running backs that remain unsigned, including Todd Gurley, Jerick MacKinnon, Le’Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard, Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore.