Latest On Juju Smith-Schuster's Status Ahead Of AFC Wild Card Game
By Jason Hall
January 16, 2022
ESPN's Brooke Pryor reports Smith-Schuster was activated and "is expected to play" in the Steelers' playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, three months after a shoulder injury and surgery kept ended his regular season.
Smith-Schuster also tweeted what seemed to be confirmation regarding his return on Saturday.
"God answered my prayers & I've recovered from my season-ending shoulder injury earlier than expected," Smith-Schuster wrote. "I can't believe I get another chance to take the field with this team and play in a playoff game to keep our season alive. Steelers Nation, #HereWeGo."
God answered my prayers & I’ve recovered from my season-ending shoulder injury earlier than expected. I can’t believe I get another chance to take the field with this team and play in a playoff game to keep our season alive. Steelers Nation, #HereWeGo! pic.twitter.com/SdAKl3SrYx— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) January 15, 2022
WPXI's Jenna Harner shared a photo of Smith-Schuster on the field at Arrowhead Stadium during warmups hours ahead of Sunday's kickoff.
The former Pro Bowl wide receiver confirmed he underwent a surgical procedure on his injured shoulder in a post thanking fans and supporters on his verified Twitter account October 13.
Smith-Schuster delivered an emotional message to attendees at his foundation's annual Luau on October 11 amid rews of his season-ending shoulder injury.
“I sat there and cried,” Smith-Schuster said in the video shared by the Steelers' verified Twitter account on October 13. “I cried all night. I cried because I love this game so much. More than anyone could know.”
Smith-Schuster's injury occurred after he was tackled by Kareem Jackson on a 3-yard end-around run with 5:47 left in the second quarter of the Steelers' 27-19 win against the Denver Broncos on October 10.
The former Pro Bowl wide receiver was seen screaming in pain as team trainers examined his right arm and shoulder on the sideline before taking him to the locker room.
Smith-Schuster had previously experienced bruised ribs after the Steelers' September 27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, ruling him out for the remainder of the game.
The 24-year-old has 15 receptions for 129 yards through his first five games.
Smith-Schuster opted to return to the Steelers as a free agent last March after signing a one-year, $8 million contract, praising the veteran Roethlisberger publicly for restructuring his deal to free up cap space for other moves prior to making his own decision to re-sign.
Additionally, rookie running back Najee Harris, who was previously listed as questionable due to an elbow issue, was removed from Pittsburgh's injury report and is also expected to play in Sunday's game, ESPN reports.
The Steelers will face the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET.