Top Selling NFL Jersey Is Steelers Backup Rookie You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

Why does a guy named James Conner have the hottest selling jersey before the 2017 NFL season?

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

If you were to guess the current top selling jersey in the NFL, who would it be? Tom Brady? Russell Wilson? Dak Prescott?

What if I told you it was James Conner?

Who? Exactly.

Conner is a the Steelers’ backup running back who was a third-round pick in this past spring’s draft. And look where he is on the sales charts.

So why is this guy so popular? It all has to do with his back story.

You can read the full story here, but in short, Conner was a star running back at Pitt, earning ACC player of the year his sophomore year. However, the following season he was diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

USA TODAY

“But while I’m lifting I can see that I’m getting out of breath really fast,” Conner says. “I’m straining my face. I swell up and get puffy, swollen. I have dizziness a lot”…

“Conner had tried different antibiotics. Doctors thought perhaps it was a sinus infection. That is, until the antibiotics had no effect. For weeks, no one could figure it out.

“Finally, Conner visited an ear, nose and throat specialist, who ruled out any issues with Conner’s sinuses and then ordered an X-ray on his chest, which eventually led to a positron emissions tomography (PET) scan — and the discovery of a large tumor.”
Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and immediately started chemotherapy. He continued working with the team in non-contact drills throughout the treatment.

After 12 rounds of chemo, Conner was  happy to announce that he was cancer free. He returned to the field last fall and immediately tore through defensive lines, running for 1,092 yards and 16 TDs before declaring for the NFL draft in December.

So that is who James Conner is and that is why a backup RB has the hottest selling jersey in pro football — he’s a home town hero not only on the football field, but in life. He’s a kid everyone should be rooting for. Go buy a jersey.


Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports