During his Tuesday press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicted that rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was currently in concussion protocol due to him reporting symptoms after Sunday’s home win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
While it’s probably too early to speculate about whether or not Smith-Schuster will ultimately be healthy enough to play in the teams Sunday night road game against the Detroit Lions, if he winds up sitting, fellow wide receiver Eli Rogers would figure to receive even more playing time in his absence.
On Wednesday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about Rogers and specifically if he thinks the former undrafted free agent out of Louisville has responded well to his two-game benching earlier this season.
“Absolutely,” Roethlisberger said. “He always works hard, but worked his butt off and has continued to work hard to get out there. And [I’m] enjoying seeing kind of the resurgence of him and I think we’ll see some stuff this week as well.”
Tomlin also said during his Tuesday press conference that he’s liked what he’s seen out of Rogers recently.
“I like the work that he has done,” said Tomlin. “That’s another guy that has been doing really well at practice and really focused and I am excited about him getting an opportunity whether JuJu is available or not. I like the overall trajectory of his game, particularly in recent weeks.”
After catching 48 passes for 594 yards and three touchdowns last season, Rogers has only caught 7 passes for 64 yards in the five games he’s dressed for so far this season.
By the sound of things, Rogers figures to get a few more targets Sunday night against the Lions regardless of whether or not Smith-Schuster ultimately plays and it’s important that he takes advantage of any opportunities he might get in that contest.