The Steelers’ offense has finally found a bit of a rhythm against the Broncos, but they’ll have to continue to find it with one of their top receivers banged up.
JuJu Smith-Schuster exited Sunday’s game against the Broncos after suffering an apparent shoulder injury. He was hit hard on an end-around and was in a lot of pain. Members of the Steelers’ medical staff stabilized his arm as he left the field.
The Steelers officially deemed Smith-Schuster questionable to return after the injury, but ruled him out after halftime.
Pittsburgh is a bit shorthanded at the receiver position with Smith-Schuster out. They have Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool healthy, but James Washington, who serves as the team’s No. 4 receiver, is out for Sunday’s game. He would be the normal replacement for Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster’s backups on Sunday are Ray-Ray McCloud and Cody White. That duo has combined for six catches and 53 yards this season, so Johnson and Claypool would have to do most of the heavy lifting at the receiver spot with Smith-Schuster sidelined.
The Steelers could also choose to use more two-tight end sets and rely on Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth to help replace Smith-Schuster. Running back Najee Harris could also absorb some of his targets.
Before exiting the game, Smith-Schuster had two rushes for six yards. He was targeted just once and failed to make a reception.
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