James Conner was entering his junior season in 2015 and was expected by many to consider the NFL Draft following the year. Things changed in a big way in the Pittsburgh Panthers’ first game of the season, however, when Conner went down with a torn ACL and had to undergo surgery.
According to a report from College Football Talk, Conner’s surgery was successful and no unexpected damage was found.
It is great news for Conner and the Panthers, although his season is over before it really began. He is most likely to return for another college season in an attempt to boost his draft stock for the 2017 NFL Draft. Of course, he could go the Todd Gurley route and decided to focus on his rehab and preparation for the upcoming draft.
Only Conner will know his plan.
Before going down with his knee injury, Conner showed off the NFL potential that many have seen in him. He carried the football eight times for 77 yards and two touchdowns against Youngstown State in what ended up being a 45-37 victory.
Conner is an incredibly competitive players and will attack the rehab process ahead of him. He has the talent to come back from the injury and still make a career for himself at the NFL level.
As for the Panthers, they are going to struggle without their star running back on the field and it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back from this devastating injury.
At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Conner is a physical beast who will translate as an every down back in the NFL assuming he bounces back to full health. Knee injuries are always a major concern for a running back, but medical abilities have come along quite a bit over the last few years.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports