Sportress of Blogitude

James Conner: LeVeon Bell sends supportive texts, is a ‘great person’

One might reasonably suspect that Le’Veon Bell may view James Conner as an adversary of sorts given how his running back counterpart is performing so well in his stead amid his ongoing holdout.

Conner, however, says Bell is the exact opposite, suggesting his Pittsburgh Steelers teammate has been incredibly supportive despite being absent.

“Any time I do something good on the field, I always come back to the locker room to a text from him saying, ‘Good game,’ or ‘Nice move right there,’” Conner said during an interview Thursday on FS1, as transcribed by the New York Post. “Me and Le’Veon are super cool. He’s a great person. With him holding out, people are going to call him selfish, but that’s not the case at all. This is business, and that’s my guy.”

Conner has been a revelation for the Steelers as he has more than capably filled Bell’s sizable shoes. The second-year back is averaging 4.4 yards per carry with seven touchdowns on the ground. Perhaps just as important, Conner has found a role in the Steelers passing offense — one of Bell’s strengths — notching 26 receptions for 257 yards.

Conner became only the fifth player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in three of a team’s first six games of the season. Such solid play even elicited tweeted praise out of Bell during Pittsburgh’s 28-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6.

It merits noting that this was not the first time Bell gave Conner a shoutout this season, so it’s not a one-off thing.

All that said, there has been no shortage of animosity among Steelers players over Bell’s protracted absence. While Bell is expected to return to the Steelers in the coming weeks — with the running back himself seemingly confirming it this week, albeit by odd means — there’s no sense to assume anything until he’s actually in the building and back practicing.

Given Conner’s comments, it would appear there will be no ill will between the two when — or if — Bell returns.