Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.
Speaking recently on the "Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?" podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander -- better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud -- Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.
"I'm rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends," Conner, 24, said. "And then I'm rehabbing and (stuff and I get) night sweats, bro. I'm getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who (doesn't) love sleep? That's the worst (stuff) in the world. ... And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart ... I got tumors growing all around it, and it's pressing."
Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.
"The doctor told me I had a week left," Conner said. "He said, 'You got about a week. If you (don't) get this treated, you (have) about a week at the rate it's growing.'"
--A contract staredown could become a stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.
The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a "quarterback premium" and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.
9News.com's Mike Klis reported that negotiations had stalled, and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing. Klis added that Lock is pushing for additional guarantees or larger workout bonuses. Later Tuesday, Risner agreed to terms on his contract, leaving Lock as the only possible holdout.
--Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.
"We're going to take our time," Sanders told reporters. "I don't even know if I'll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I'm definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump."
Sanders did not say if he'll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a "realistic" timeline earlier this month.
--Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.
Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro careers.
Ayers finishes his NFL career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts), including a career-high nine sacks in 2015 with the New York Giants.
--The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games for violating its policy on substance abuse.
Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge -- a felony -- in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.
Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4's game at Chicago.
--Former Philadelphia Eagles safety and special teams ace Chris Maragos announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons, as he underwent his third knee surgery since 2017.
The 32-year-old tore his ACL during the 2017 season and hasn't played since, spending all of last season on the PUP list before being released by the Eagles in February. He announced on Twitter he was having his third surgery on the knee Tuesday.
An undrafted product out of Wisconsin, Maragos played in 99 games (three starts) for San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia, spending his last four seasons with the Eagles. Over his last six seasons, 80.9 percent of his snaps came on special teams.
--Field Level Media