The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense can use a boost, and they thought they would be getting this from the return of two injured starters for their Week 15 game vs. the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football.
James Conner (shoulder) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) have been out of the lineup the past three weeks, and while both were full participants on Wednesday, Smith-Schuster was downgraded to limited on Thursday.
What was the setback? Was there a re-injury of his knee? According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter that is exactly what happened, and it means the Steelers will likely be without Smith-Schuster for a fourth straight week.
Steelers’ WR JuJu Smith-Schuster now Is not expected to play Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills after he aggravated his knee injury during practice on Thursday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 13, 2019
What actually happened at practice? Beat writers aren’t allowed to directly report what goes on in practice, but SteelCityInsider’s Jim Wexell gave some insight into Smith-Schuster exiting practice early Thursday.
While running in the open field https://t.co/ZQE7sIz2ap— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) December 13, 2019
Not good news for the Steelers, but especially for Smith-Schuster’s health. The Steelers could be without their top wide receiver for the rest of the regular season if he indeed had a setback with his knee injury.
Nonetheless, while Smith-Schuster’s availability is certainly in doubt, Conner was a full participant for the second straight day which bodes well for him returning to the lineup in the biggest game of the year to date.
Conner would join the likes of Jaylen Samuels, Kerrith Whyte, Trey Edmunds and Benny Snell Jr. in the backfield, but it is unlikely all of those players will be active if/when Conner returns. Who is the odd man out in the running back corps?
A tough decision indeed.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers and their preparation for the Bills, as well as the latest on the injury front heading into this prime time game at Heinz Field Sunday night.