The scene of James Conner on the sidelines icing his knee wasn't particularly encouraging for Pitt fans in the team's narrow win against Youngstown State on Saturday. Conner left in the second quarter and didn't return. At the time he came out of the game, he was well on his way to a big game with 77 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries.
The good news is that afterward, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said the injury was not serious and he was held out for precautionary reasons, per ESPN.
Coaches reportedly took great care to get him some rest during training camp. And if this was for precautionary reasons, you wonder how much Conner might be banged up. He may not have a major injury, but it sounds like he could use some rest, too. This early in the season, that's obviously not the most encouraging thing in the world.
Some of the reports during the game didn't sound all that great. Sam Werner of the PG, for example, noted that he was limping a good amount on the sidelines. But Narduzzi's comments in the press conference downplayed the severity of the injury. Josh Yohe also tweeted that Conner would have played if it were an ACC game.
Pitt got a lot out of Qadree Ollison, who had a monster 207 yards in his debut. But you can't expect to get that much from him all of the time and the Panthers need to get Conner healthy.
I think there are a lot of questions here based on Conner being limited in camp and coming out of the season opener. Don't forget that he is presumably headed to the NFL Draft after this season and it won't look great if he's missing a lot of time. It doesn't look like he's at 100% and it will be interesting to track his progress in practices this week. Then, we wait and see what kind of workload he gets next Saturday in Akron.