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The Pittsburgh Steelers’ top pass-catcher in 2020 missed the final 12 games this season. JuJu Smith Schuster could still play against the Chiefs.
It’s safe to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive unit didn’t scare a lot of teams this season. Mike Tomlin’s club 23rd in the NFL yards gained per game and 21st in the league in scoring. The club scored at least thirty points in just 17 of its 17 games. That was Sunday’s 41-37 loss at Los Angeles to the Chargers.
An aging Ben Roethlisberger, an offensive line, and its season-long struggles, to some adjustments to Matt Canada as the new coordinator. The Steelers couldn’t get out of their own way in the first quarter. Tomlin’s team scored a mere 37 points in the first 15 minutes of games this year. Ouch!
But there is hope.
JuJu Smith-Schuster could play in the Steelers playoffs
Juju Smith Schuster, fifth-year wide receiver, was last seen in Week 5 against Denver Broncos. He returned to practice on Thursday. The team also announcedWideout James Washington has been activated from the COVID-19 reserve list and is now back.
He had only caught 15 passes for 129 yards, and no scores before he was injured in October. He had a team record of 97 receptions for 831 yard (second to Diontae) and tied Chase Claypool with nine touchdown receptions. The 25-year-old performer has been more of a safety valve for “Big Ben” the past two seasons, averaging a mere 8.6 yards per reception.
It is clear that the Steelers’ inconsistency will be a difficult task. The team will be returning to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night for a rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs. In Week 16, Tomlin’s team was pushed around by a 36-10 count. So could having Smith-Schuster, who totaled 13 receptions (on 19 targets) for 157 yards and one score in last year’s playoff loss to the Browns, be a big-time factor after a long absence?