The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: How serious is JuJu Smith-Schuster’s injury?
While the Steelers are celebrating a crucial win yesterday over a good team in the Denver Broncos, there is more concern over the health of key players, which has been a common theme already this young season.
Already missing James Washington with a groin injury, the Steelers’ wide receiver unit lost another when JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a shoulder injury in a collision with safety Kareem Jackson. It was serious enough that he immediately left the game, and ultimately went to the hospital.
On social media last night, he wrote in thanking people for prayers and said that “God has bigger plans for me”, which is, frankly, often something that athletes—or people in general—say when faced with significant adversity. When it comes to athletes, they’ve either gotten seriously injured or traded or released.
It wasn’t the latter in Smith-Schuster’s case. So how serious is his injury? I’m just going to take a wild guess and suggest that he is going to miss some time. Is he going to end up on the Reserve/Injured List? Will he even play again this season?
The fifth-year veteran has caught 15 passes for 129 yards this season, with one rushing touchdown, with three receptions going for key third-down conversions. He was already a free agent in March and ended up re-signing with Pittsburgh on a one-year deal. What will his market look like in 2022? And how will his free agency status affect the decision-making process on his and his agents’ part pertaining to whatever injury he’s currently dealing with?