Pitt Football: James Conner Done For Season


Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi confirmed during his Monday press conference that running back James Conner will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

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As we saw James Conner limp over to the sidelines this past Saturday against Youngstown State, we all knew there was a slight chance that it could be more serious than was initially reported. After all when you see a player come out with a knee injury and continue to scamper all over the sidelines to cheer on his teammates, you wouldn’t expect it to be too devastating. But that is when the fairytale ended with the inclusiveness of a hospital examination.

As CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson promptly reported, it was confirmed through rigorous testing that Conner had in fact torn his MCL and is set to undergo surgery in the coming days.

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  • The expected timetable for a proper recovery obviously outlasts the duration of the season but I fully expect James to be ready to go for the 2016 season given his work ethic. He has demonstrated an ethic that coach Narduzzi has raved about on the team’s web site; “Even with all of his success last year, James attacked his preparation for this season like he was fighting to earn a starting spot..”

    A silver lining, although tough to come by right now, is that the running back position clearly has depth for the Panthers and Qadree Ollison‘s breakout performance for 207 yards can only help place the Band-Aid over the fresh wound sustained by the team.

    Entering the game against Akron this coming Saturday, it is extremely feasible that Ollison could get the starting nod against the Zips, with the state of Conner’s backup, Chris James, health also being a concern. Regardless of the shifting depth chart at that time, it is important that each player lined up behind quarterback Chad Voytik is ready to go and able to carry the load.

    This is clearly a blow to the entire team and the Atlantic Coast Conference as a whole because they lose one of the best ambassadors for the game and the reigning ACC Player of the Year, for the season, but we can only hope and pray that James has a speedy and full recovery in hopes of that he can pick up where he left off in a much too short 2015 season.

    A very interesting tweet that I had come across kind of sums up the feeling by everyone in “Pitt Nation..”

    The Panthers (1-0) play the University of Akron (0-1) at Infocision Stadium this Saturday at 6 p.m. The Zips lost their season opener 41-3 against the Sooners in Oklahoma.

    The Pitt-Akron matchup will be replayed Monday, Sept. 14 on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh at 9 p.m.

    Next: Steelers: The 2015 Practice Squad

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