Steelers running back James Conner has been nominated for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, the team announced on Thursday.
The award, which has been given to an NFL player annually since 2016, has never been given to a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is awarded annually to the player that demonstrates “qualities of great sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for opponents, and integrity in competition.”
“It is gratifying that sportsmanship is the category,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II when the award was first announced. “It’s appropriate. I like to think of my grandfather as someone who truly was a good sport, somebody who cared about the respect and the integrity of the game. The fact it’s being voted on by the players, well, the recipient can feel good about it because it’s voted on by his peers.”
Conner is among 32 nominees, one from each team, that will narrowed down to eight finalists by the NFL Legends Community. Current players will vote on the winner out of the eight finalists, but cannot vote for a teammate.
The winner will be announced the night before Super Bowl LIV and the winner of the award is also granted a $25,000 donation to a charity of his choice.
“Art Rooney is an iconic figure in NFL history,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the time the award was introduced. “It is appropriate that we honor his legacy in this way and recognize NFL players for one of the important values that Mr. Rooney represented so well.”
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees won the award in 2018. Conner’s fellow Pitt alumnus Larry Fitzgerald won the inaugural award in 2014.
Steelers Re-Sign WR Anthony Johnson to Practice Squad; Release WR Amara Darboh
The Steelers have re-signed wide receiver Anthony Johnson to their practice squad and released wide receiver Amara Darboh.
Johnson, 25, is in his second professional season out of Buffalo. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver spent the 2020 offseason with the Steelers before suffering a knee injury in training camp.
Teams cannot re-sign players that they’ve reached an injury settlement with for at least three weeks longer than the term of the settlement, which is not publicly disclosed.
The Steelers originally signed Johnson to a reserve/future contract on Jan. 8. He spent the 2019 preseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then on the practice squad of the Los Angeles Chargers.
In two seasons at Buffalo, Johnson caught 133 passes for 2,367 yards and 25 touchdowns. He led the MAC in receiving yards per game in his junior season.
Darboh joined the Steelers mid-year in 2019 after spending time with the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a third-round pick of the Seahawks in 2017.
The Steelers initially signed him to their practice squad on Nov. 18, 2019, then he was promoted to the active roster on Dec. 16, 2019, but did not play in a game. He returned to the Steelers for 2020, was waived at the end of training camp and re-signed to the practice squad.
When Diontae Johnson was injured earlier this season and missed time, the Steelers elevated fellow practice squad receiver Deon Cain ahead of Darboh.
The Steelers’ 16-man practice squad and 53-man roster are both full after the transactions.
Steelers Sign P Jordan Berry, Elevate Trey Edmunds, Jayrone Elliott from Practice Squad
The Steelers officially signed veteran punter Jordan Berry, who previously punted for Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2020, and elevated two players from the practice squad.
Berry came in for a visit this past week after the Steelers released veteran punter Dustin Colquitt, who was signed to replace Berry right before the start of the regular season.
Despite the team’s 5-0 record, Mike Tomlin hinted Colquitt’s struggles could trigger a change at punter.
In other news, running back Trey Edmunds and linebacker Jayrone Elliott have both been elevated from the practice squad ahead of the team’s Week 7 game in Tennessee against the Titans. This marks the second time Edmunds has been elevated from the practice squad this season.
Report: Steelers to Sign, Bring Back Punter Jordan Berry
The Steelers are expected to sign Jordan Berry, according to Field Yates. Berry did come in for a visit with the team this past week.
This report comes after the Steelers released veteran punter Dustin Colquitt, who was signed right before the start of the regular season. Berry, who punted for Pittsburgh from 2015-1019, would be replacing the man who was brought in to replace him. Berry’s contract was terminated following the signing of Colquitt.
Despite the team’s 5-0 record, Mike Tomlin hinted Colquitt’s struggles could trigger a change at punter before the team’s Sunday road game against the Titans.