Saturday update: JuJu tweeted out that he’s good to go for the Wild Card game against the Chiefs on Sunday night. It was then confirmed by reports. So the Steelers appear to have their offense at full strength for the playoff game.
Friday update: So far, so good on Smith-Schuster’s return from injured reserve, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Steelers wide receiver is “trending toward playing.” With such a long lay off from live snaps, Smith-Schuster probably can’t be counted on in DFS or fantasy, but he is a familiar face for Ben Roethlisberger around the goal line. He could have an impact on his likely limited snaps.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was designated to return to practice from injured reserve on Thursday ahead of the team’s Wild Card matchup at the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The wideout has been sidelined since October after suffering what was then thought of as a season-ending shoulder injury.
Steelers’ WR JuJu Smith-Schuster returned to practice today after being placed on the Reserve/Injured List on Oct. 16 with a shoulder injury. Steelers have a 21-day window to activate him to the 53-man roster, or he remains on the Reserve/Injured List.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2022
This is a significant for the Steelers to potentially be getting one of their top offensive weapons back for the postseason, even if its in a limited capacity. Smith-Schuster had appeared in just five games this year and battled through injury before being officially shut down. Through five weeks, he caught 15 of 28 targets for just 129 receiving yards.
Should he be activated to the 53-man roster in time for the Sunday night battle at Arrowhead Stadium, there’s potential for that to be the final game he suits up in a Steelers uniform with his impending free agency in the offseason looming.
Fantasy football implications
Even if he’s cleared, DFS players should steer clear of JuJu as he’d most likely be used in an extremely limited capacity.