JuJu came back for another shot with Roethlisberger

Smith-Schuster said he knew he was risking free agent contract

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said even when he knew he was done for the regular season, he kept hopes that he would return for the playoffs.

“I knew it was a big risk to put myself on the line to come out here,” Smith-Schuster said.  “When I got cleared by the doctor I was like ‘I’m playin’.  There was no hesitation, no doubt that I wanted to be out there with 7.  He felt comfortable with me being out there.  We never lost that chemistry.”

Even without playing since early in the Denver game in week 5 in October, Smith-Schuster tied for a game-high with five receptions Sunday, finishing with 26 yards.

Smith-Schuster said he was working to get his shoulder back from the day of the diagnosis.  He didn’t even tell his family.  He said he never checked out (on the team, as he said some players do following injury) and missed football every day, probably his teammates as much as the sport.

“I talked to my agent, who told me it was a contract year, you should be careful,” Smith-Schuster said.  “I talked to mom, mom was being mom.  It just came down to personal stuff.”

“We just got to come back better next year.”

Does JuJu want to return to Pittsburgh?

He said honestly it does depend on the quarterback situation.  That will be part of the discussions, but on the surface it ‘would be a blessing’ to stay with the Steelers.

Smith-Schuster finished the season with 15 receptions for 129 yards.  In his five-year career, 323 receptions, 3,855 yards with 26 touchdowns.  The monster season coming in 2018 with 111 catches for 1,426 yards.

“I think I could have helped this offense out tremendously,” Smith-Schuster said.  “I think I’ve done it in the past.  It’s shown.  I think my work speaks for itself.”