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Pitt in the Pros

Pitt Alumni Conner, Donald Named to the Pro Bowl



Arizona’s James Conner and Los Angeles’s Aaron Donald were both named to the 2022 Pro Bowl, the only Pitt alumni to be named to the NFL’s end-of-season All-Star festivities.

Both Conner and Donald are on NFL teams with postseason aspirations, and both have been key contributors to their squads this season.

It’s been the norm for Donald, earning his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and likely his seventh consecutive All-Pro appearance at the end of the season. With 66 tackles (26 solo), 14 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defended, Donald has once again done it all for the Rams.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, adding his historic third DPOY last season, likely won’t win the award this season, but he’s still the most consistent defender the NFL has seen in some time — if not ever.

It hasn’t quite been as easy for Conner though. After four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Conner signed a one-year, $1.75 million prove-it contract with the Cardinals this season. And he’s been among the very best bargains in the NFL this season.

Conner has racked up 700 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns and added 334 receiving yards and two more touchdowns. Conner’s 16 touchdowns rank third in the NFL, making almost $110,000 per touchdown. It’s his second Pro Bowl nomination and first with the Cardinals.

With Chase Edmonds as a backfield partner and Kyler Murray under center in Arizona, Conner has been able to be unleashed as the optimal red zone running back.

Conner made the Pro Bowl in 2018 with the Steelers, replacing Le’Veon Bell with a stellar 1,470 scrimmage yard season, but it had been rough sledding for him since. His resurgence in Arizona has been one of the NFL’s best stories this season.

The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 6, 2022. ABC, ESPN and Disney XD will carry the 3 p.m. broadcast.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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