2021 South Side Questions: Will JuJu And Zach Swap Places On IR This Week?

JuJu Smith-Schuster

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: Will JuJu Smith-Schuster and Zach Banner swap placed on the Reserve/Injured List this week?

First of all, apologies in advance for those who hate hearing about Zach Banner, and double apologies for those who also hate to hear about JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the reality is that they are two of the most-discussed players on the roster right now.

We already know Smith-Schuster’s immediate future. He should be moved to the Reserve/Injured List by the end by the end of the week. We know that Banner has to be activated to the 53-man roster within the next week or so as well.

Logically, when you put those two pieces together, it would seem to match up. There isn’t another critical roster move impending, outside of possibly running back Anthony McFarland also being activated from the Reserve/Injured List, which of course would also require the opening of a roster spot.

Cody White is already on the 53-man roster as an extra wide receiver, so the Steelers don’t have to replace Smith-Schuster’s roster spot with another player at the same position. Likewise, they are down a lineman after releasing Rashaad Coward to make room for White in the first place, so, again, there’s a lot of sense in Smith-Schuster’s roster spot going to Banner.

That and the fact that signs seem to point to him being physically ready to play. He basically said as much when he talked to reporters last week. Of course, he wasn’t given the chance, yet, but it’s either this week or next week, and I’m not sure I see much benefit in delaying it.

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