JuJu Smith-Schuster

Kansas City Chiefs
Wide Receiver #19
Kansas City Chiefs
Wide Receiver #19
Photo: Icon Sportswire

JuJu Smith-Schuster News

Signs with Kansas City

Smith-Schuster has agreed to a one-year deal with the Chiefs, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Per the report, Smith-Schuster is slated to earn $10.75 million this coming season. Injuries limited the 25-year-old to five games with the Steelers during the 2021 campaign, during which he logged a 15/129/0 stat line. Smith-Schuster was able to return to action in time for Pittsburgh's playoff loss to Kansas City, so he's presumably past the shoulder issue that had landed him on IR. In his new team context, Smith-Schuster will provide a quality complementary option alongside the Chiefs' top playmakers, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, with his fantasy ceiling boosted by the prospect of catching passes from star signal-caller Patrick Mahomes.

Mar 18, 2022 1:34 PM EST

Returns for Big Ben's last game

Smith-Schuster (shoulder) started and finished with five receptions on eight targets for 26 yards in Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster was able to return from a lengthy stay on injured reserve to suit up with Ben Roethlisberger one last time. The 24-year-old experienced the last wave of Big Ben's prime, providing fantasy value for a good portion of the four years prior to an injury-plagued 2021 campaign. The Steelers will enter a new era under a new quarterback next season, but Smith-Schuster may find a new home as an unrestricted free agent this upcoming offseason.

Jan 17, 2022 1:11 AM EST

Set to play Sunday

Smith-Schuster (shoulder) was activated off injured reserve Saturday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster tweeted on his personal account saying he'd play in Sunday's playoff matchup against the Chiefs, setting the stage for the star wide receiver to make his return after missing the past 13 games. Even prior to the injury it was clear Diontae Johnson had usurped Smith-Schuster as Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target, but the fifth-year wide receiver should act as a capable underneath option alongside Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth.

Jan 15, 2022 12:07 PM EST

Trending in right direction

Smith-Schuster (shoulder) had no issues in his return to practice Thursday and is "trending toward playing" Sunday at Kansas City, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Thursday was Smith-Schuster's first official day back at practice, but it apparently went well despite initially being considered out for the season after shoulder surgery in mid-October. It remains to be seen if the 25-year-old is officially activated for the wild-card game, but his return would bring a significant boost to Pittsburgh's passing game for the playoffs.

Jan 14, 2022 7:15 AM EST

Resumes practicing, playoff status TBD

Smith-Schuster (shoulder) practiced Thursday, but coach Mike Tomlin indicated that a determination has yet to be made as to the wideout's readiness for game action in advance of the Steelers' playoff opener against the Chiefs on Sunday, ESPN's Brooke Pryor reports. "We just started the 21-day window," Tomlin noted of Smith-Schuster's current IR status. "What transpires out here and a lot of other questions are part of the equation."

Analysis: "He's worked hard in rehabilitation and gotten himself to this point," Tomlin added of Smith-Schuster's surprising return to practice Thursday. "We simply started the 21-day window. We'll look at him, see how he feels. Check his level of conditioning when people get into that 21-day window." With that in mind, how the wideout looks in practice Friday could potentially go a long way in helping the Steelers assess his chances of being activated ahead of the team's wild-card contest, which kicks off Sunday night at 8:15 ET.

Jan 13, 2022 1:26 PM EST

Returning to practice

Smith-Schuster (shoulder) is slated to return to practice Thursday.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster was placed on IR back on Oct. 16 after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery, but now that he's set to be back at practice the Steelers have a 21-day window in which to activate the wideout to the 53-man roster or leave him on IR. It remains to be seen how close Smith-Schuster is to being ready for game action at this stage, but Thursday's move paves the way for him to potentially join Pittsburgh's postseason run.

Jan 13, 2022 9:40 AM EST

Lands on IR

Smith-Schuster (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve Saturday, Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.

Analysis: This comes as no surprise considering Smith-Schuster underwent season-ending surgery to his shoulder earlier this week. James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool will split a bigger piece of the target share with the five-year pro sidelined indefinitely.

Oct 16, 2021 1:29 PM EST

Getting surgery Wednesday

Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Smith-Schuster will undergo season-ending surgery Wednesday for the right shoulder injury he sustained in Sunday's win over Denver, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Tomlin added that Smith-Schuster will be placed on injured reserve, though that transaction may not become official until later in the week. With Smith-Schuster done for the season, James Washington (groin) -- who sat out against Denver but is expected to return to practice this week -- is expected to step into a regular role in three-receiver sets alongside Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.

Oct 12, 2021 9:44 AM EST

Slated to undergo shoulder procedure

An MRI on Smith-Schuster's shoulder Sunday night revealed that the wideout will need surgery, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Per Rapoport, the procedure, which has yet to take place, is expected to end Smith-Schuster's season, with Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette having previously reported that the wideout is expected to land on IR. In Smith-Schuster's looming absence, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are in line to head the Steelers' WR corps, with James Washington a candidate to assume a larger role once he's back from a groin injury that sidelined him in Week 5.

Oct 11, 2021 10:03 AM EST

Undergoes season-ending surgery

Smith-Schuster underwent successful shoulder surgery Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster was taken to the hospital after he exited Sunday's win over the Broncos, and he required season-ending surgery. The 2018 second-rounder hauled in 15 of 28 targets for 129 yards across his five appearances in 2021, and he's slated to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason. His absence should lead to more playing time for James Washington (groin) and Ray-Ray McCloud, while Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool should see additional slot work.

Oct 11, 2021 9:10 AM EST

Could miss rest of season

The Steelers fear Smith-Schuster (shoulder) will miss the rest of the season, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster was clearly in pain after his exit from Sunday's 27-19 win over the Broncos, and it sounds like he's now in danger of needing season-ending surgery on his injured shoulder. While he's averaging only 25.8 yards per game this year, Smith-Schuster did see either seven or eight targets in three of his first four games this season, and his upcoming absence could lead to more slot work for both Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. The 24-year-old Smith-Schuster is on a one-year contract, scheduled for unrestricted free agency again in the offseason.

Oct 11, 2021 6:53 AM EST

Getting shoulder checked out

Coach Mike Tomlin noted after Sunday's 27-19 win over the Broncos that Smith-Schuster was taken to a hospital to have his injured shoulder evaluated, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster injured his right shoulder with about six minutes left in the second quarter of the contest and was subsequently ruled out by the Steelers. For now, consider Smith-Schuster day-to-day until added information is available, but at this stage his status for next Sunday's game against the Seahawks is unclear.

Oct 10, 2021 3:11 PM EST

Exits Sunday's game

Smith-Schuster suffered a shoulder injury during Sunday's game against the Broncos, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Prior to his exit from the game, Smith-Schuster carried twice for six yards and didn't haul in his only target. In his absence, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are slated to head the Steelers' Week 5 wideout corps.

Oct 10, 2021 11:22 AM EST

Returns to full practice activity

Smith-Schuster (ribs) was a full participant in Thursday's practice.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster has been nursing the rib injury since it forced him out of the Steelers' Week 3 win over the Bengals, but he doesn't look to be at risk of missing game action as a result. He played 95 percent of the offensive snaps in last week's loss to the Packers and tied his season high with eight targets, but he mustered only two receptions for 11 yards. The fifth-year wideout has yet to find the end zone through four contests and no longer looks like the must-start player he was during his breakout 2018 campaign, when he tallied 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games.

Oct 7, 2021 2:01 PM EST

Limited with rib injury

Smith-Schuster (ribs) was a limited practice participant Wednesday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: He played through the same injury last week and took 95 percent of offensive snaps in a 27-17 loss to Green Bay, catching two passes for 11 yards on eight targets. Smith-Schuster should be fine to play again this Sunday against Denver, but he's averaging just 8.6 yards per catch for the second year in a row, and this time it isn't coming with steady volume (he's seen eight, seven, four and eight targets in four games).

Oct 6, 2021 1:34 PM EST

Targeted eight times in loss

Smith-Schuster hauled in two of eight targets for 11 yards in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster's eight targets Sunday ranked second on the team, but he was unable to generate much production against the Packers' stingy defense. After topping 40 receiving yards in each of the first two weeks of the season, he's now totaled just 36 yards across the last two games. The 24-year-old will have more competition for targets against Denver in Week 5 if Chase Claypool (hamstring) is cleared to return.

Oct 3, 2021 5:39 PM EST

Clear for Week 4

Smith-Schuster (ribs) doesn't have a designation for Sunday's game at Green Bay, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.

Analysis: As does Diontae Johnson (knee), who also practiced in full to wrap up Week 4 prep. At the same time, Chase Claypool (hamstring) actually experienced a downturn in his activity level from limited Thursday to none Friday. If the Steelers opt to sit Claypool, as they did with Johnson this past Sunday, Smith-Schuster could be in line for a larger workload than normal, which so far has equated to 19 targets in three games.

Oct 1, 2021 11:48 AM EST

Back at practice

Smith-Schuster (ribs) returned to a limited practice Thursday, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster didn't practice Wednesday, so his return to the field, even in a limited capacity, bodes well for his chances of suiting up Sunday against the Packers. Meanwhile, Diontae Johnson (knee) -- who was sidelined in Week 3 -- was a full participant Thursday, while Chase Claypool was added to the Steelers' Week 4 injury report after logging a limited session. Friday's injury report will reveal whether any or all of the team's top three wideouts head into the weekend carrying an injury designation.

Sep 30, 2021 1:40 PM EST

Misses practice

Smith-Schuster (ribs) didn't practice Wednesday.

Analysis: He's considered day-to-day after X-rays on his ribs came back negative. Meanwhile, Diontae Johnson (knee) returned to a limited practice Wednesday, after missing each session last week and ultimately being ruled out for the loss to Cincinnati. Smith-Schuster left that game early, finishing with three catches for 25 yards on 40 percent snap share.

Sep 29, 2021 1:22 PM EST

Day-to-day after negative tests

Smith-Schuster (ribs) is considered day-to-day after X-rays on the injury that knocked him out against the Bengals in Week 3 came back negative, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Smith-Schuster's bruised ribs will likely impact his practice participation this week, but it sounds like he has a real chance to suit up Sunday in Green Bay without missing additional game action. With the Steelers at 1-2 and fellow wide receiver Diontae Johnson's (knee) Week 4 status uncertain, JuJu will likely tough it out on game day if his status comes down to pain management.

Sep 27, 2021 11:52 AM EST

News powered by