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Report: James Conner visiting Cardinals after offseason foot surgery

James Conner, Cardinals

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner is headed to Arizona for a visit with the Cardinals on Monday.

Conner underwent offseason foot surgery to repair a “turf toe-type injury” sustained while riding a “recreational vehicle,” per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. However, Rapoport added Conner is not expected to have any issues going forward:

James Conner was a breakout star in 2018, amassing close to 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns as the replacement starter for Le’Veon Bell, who held out over contract disputes. But health has been a bit of a concern for the former Pittsburgh standout.

Conner was limited to just 10 games in 2019. He had a respectable 2020 campaign, rushing for 721 yards on 4.3 yards per carry and racking up six touchdowns on the ground. But he also missed three games and saw Benny Snell dig into his snap count.

Still, the 25-year-old has plenty upside as a two-way back capable of churning out yards in the rushing game or making plays as a receiver out of the backfield. James Conner could be the ideal replacement back for Kenyan Drake in Arizona after Drake signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.

The Cardinals have a third-down back in Chase Edmonds who excels as a change-of-pace guy and receiver on passing downs. Edmonds could also take some of the pressure off Conner, perhaps allowing Arizona to mitigate some injury risk while still giving the Cardinals a strong 1-2 punch in the backfield.

A lot will depend on the results of James Conner’s physical. But Arizona could make for a great landing spot as the franchise tries to make a big push in 2021 after an 8-8 campaign in 2020.