Was Steelers’ James Conner throwing shade at Le’Veon Bell with TD celebration?
James Conner had 56 touchdowns during his career at Pitt. He got his first in the NFL on Sunday.
Conner ran through a wide hole the offensive line created for him on the right side of the offense 3 minutes and 41 seconds into the second quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ regular-season opener at the Cleveland Browns.
A second-year NFL running back who was a third-round pick last season, Conner made his first NFL start in the game as a replacement for the absent Le’Veon Bell.
First touchdown alert pic.twitter.com/Buqpky0uBi
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 9, 2018
After the score, Conner showed a child-like enthusiasm in scoring for the first time in a meaningful game since Nov. 26, 2016, while playing for Pitt against Syracuse.
Popular at Pitt because he was a two-time all-ACC performer and because he overcame Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2015-16. Many reacted to his touchdown on Twitter:
— Coach Mike Whitney (@whitneymr1) September 9, 2018
— Christa Salerno (@ChristaBSalerno) September 9, 2018
James Conner first career TD. No BS celebration just pure joy with teammates
— Don Evanko (@DE_III) September 9, 2018
Of course, many fans took the no-frills celebration – showing love for his linemen – as a subtle shot at Bell, who has not signed his $14.5 million franchise tag tender and has not reported to the Steelers. Wednesday, three Steelers offensive linemen were critical of Bell’s absence .
— Roger Conway (@rconway28) September 9, 2018
That’s OL/James Conner celebration says a lot. Idk how LeVeon could return anymore
— am (@nlnz_xvf) September 9, 2018
Conner scored his second NFL touchdown later in the game.