Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t play in last Sunday’s game against the Ravens, as he was serving a one-game suspension for the illegal block he put on Vontaze Burfict the following week. In addition to that, a hamstring issue threatened his chances of playing in the Week 15 matchup against the Patriots.
But Smith-Schuster is expected to play in Sunday’s pivotal matchup at Heinz Field, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Smith-Schuster has been extremely effective as the team’s top slot receiver this season, with 37 catches for 585 yards, in what has been an impressive rookie campaign. The Steelers can beat teams many different ways, with Le’Veon Bell in the backfield, and Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant on the outside, combined with Smith-Schuster and the team’s tight ends working the middle of the field. That’s why Smith-Schuster’s presence is so important to Ben Roethlisberger and the offense, so it can fire on all cylinders.
It’s safe to assume that both the Steelers and Patriots offenses will wreak havoc on their opponent’s defense on Sunday, and we can expect Smith-Schuster to play a role in how Pittsburgh attacks New England in the game.