It was a rollercoaster of a day for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they played host to the Denver Broncos in Week 5. The 27-19 win saw flashes of prime Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for two touchdowns and 253 yards in what is potentially his final season. While Pittsburgh came out with the victory, it came at a price as wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster left the contest due to injury and it appears like the Steelers will be without him for quite some time.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Smith-Schuster is expected to be placed on injured reserve and the team fears he may miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury.
The talented young wideout was helped off of the field after injuring his shoulder in the second quarter. He was originally listed as questionable to return to the contest, but the team would later officially rule him out. The issue is made arguably worse by the fact Smith-Schuster didn’t go down on a receiving play, as he had only been targeted once and recorded no catches on the day. It was on a handoff — his second of the day — wherein he went down hard after he was taken down hard by safety Kareem Jackson.
Smith-Schuster hit NFL free agency this past offseason but waved off offers to join other clubs, one being the Baltimore Ravens, to remain with the Steelers on a one-year deal worth $8 million. He’s mostly taken a backseat to breakout star Chase Claypool and was looking to regain prime form. But through the first four games of the season, he’s mustered only 129 combined receiving yards with no touchdowns on just 15 receptions (on 27 targets).
While getting back into the main fold of the Steelers passing attack was his main objective heading into Sunday, the events that transpired now give him an entirely different hurdle to overcome.