While many people are spending their days locked up in their houses, taking shelter from the risks of the coronavirus, many others still are out there working to protect us and to provide essential services that help to enable us to remain indoors as much as we possibly can.
Others still are participating in football drills. Including some members of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As shared by Brooke Pryor, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster shared some brief clips of a workout in which he was involved that also seemed to include quarterback Mason Rudolph, out in California.
Smith-Schuster, a fourth-year player originally drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, is coming off of a disappointing season that saw him lag behind others in statistics in what was really just a very bad year for the offense as a whole without Ben Roethlisberger.
FWIW, I’m told the workout had fewer than 10 people participating and everyone took precautions. https://t.co/1vMbtwETdp
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) April 16, 2020
Rudolph, meanwhile, was ostensibly part of the ‘problem’ with the offense, though in his defense, the team did go 5-3 in the eight games that he started, and one of those losses was an overtime loss in which he was injured. I believe they may have even been winning when he was injured, but don’t quote me on that.
Pryor included in a follow-up Tweet that she was told fewer than 10 people participated in the workout—though you can tell there are at least 10 people in total involved, including the cameraperson—and that ‘everyone took precautions’, though it doesn’t appear that anybody was wearing a mask.
Setting aside potential issues with social distancing and whathaveyou, what we do have is two young Steelers players working out together and trying to get better, even though, ideally, one of them will not see the field in 2020, since it would mean that Roethlisberger is healthy.
As for Smith-Schuster, he is entering a contract year, the final year of his rookie deal. According to Gerry Dulac, the Steelers’ current plan is to re-sign him next offseason, but what his price tag will be could depend greatly upon the performance he delivers in 2020.
Not only did he have just six quarters of play together with Roethlisberger last year, he also had to deal with losing Antonio Brown as the top draw for defenders. On top of all of that, he also dealt with multiple different and lingering injuries throughout the season.
There is no reason to believe that he is not capable of putting up numbers roughly similar to that which he managed in 2018, a season in which he was named a Pro Bowler. We do know that he puts in the work—even in the middle of a pandemic.