The Steelers activate the Smith-Schuster for the Chiefs game

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PITTSBURGH – What seemed impractical in October is a reality in January.

After incurring what is believed to be a season-ending shoulder injury against the Denver Broncos in Week 5, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was activated from Injured Reserve on Saturday.

Smith-Schuster is expected to play against the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild card game Sunday night.

Running back Najee Harris (elbow) – previously listed as questionable – was also removed from the Steelers’ injury report and is expected to play on Sunday.

“God answered my prayers (and) I have recovered from my shoulder injury earlier than expected,” Smith-Schuster says. tweeted Saturday afternoon. “I can not believe I will get another chance to take the field with this team and play in a playoff game to keep our season alive.”

Although he is available to play, Smith-Schuster will likely be in a moment. Still, his addition is a boost for the Steelers.

“He had a pretty significant injury,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the 102.5 WDVE DVE Morning Show Friday morning. “The way JuJu plays the game is physical. We all know it. We all love it. He could increase this offensive. Even if it’s just a few games, the energy, the encouragement he brings to the sidelines. All in the style of having one of your guys out there would be great for us. “

Smith-Schuster, 25, underwent shoulder surgery after the injury and has been out of the game for the past 14 weeks. He was appointed to return from IR on Thursday and trained with the team on Thursday and Friday.

“To me, it looked like he was ready,” wide receiver Diontae Johnson said this week. “He has to ease back into things, but he looked smooth today.

“Big hands, natural catcher. Big hands, strong guy. Just watching him run around shows that he’s still JuJu at the end of the day. It’s exciting.”

Smith-Schuster, who is set to be a free agent after the season, returned to the Steelers on a one-year deal in the free agency, but the early injury limited his influence this season. Through five games, he has only 15 catches on 129 yards. Since Smith-Schuster went out, Ray-Ray McCloud has filled his role as slot receiver and he has had 39 catches on 277 yards.

“He brings back the positive energy that he has always had, that he always brings,” Johnson said. “You want to bring back such a guy who’s about football, all about his teammates. Just do everything for the team. He’s also a human person. There’s never a dull moment when he’s around.”


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