The wide receiver had been on injured reserve since injuring a shoulder Oct. 16 in a game against the Denver Broncos. What was thought to be a season-ending injury appeared to have healed enough for Smith-Schuster to at least try and give it a go.
“God answered my prayers & I’ve recovered from my season-ending shoulder injury earlier than expected. I can’t believe I get another chance to take the field with this team and play in a playoff game to keep our season alive,” Smith-Schuster tweeted.
The Steelers later officially activated him from the reserve/injured list.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week he wasn’t surprised about Smith-Schuster’s return.
“He’s worked hard in rehabilitation and has gotten himself to this point, and we simply started the 21-day window,” Tomlin said Thursday. “We’ll look at him and see how he feels and check his level of conditioning. Things that we normally do when people get into that 21-day window. Kevin Dotson was probably the latest example of that prior to JuJu. Good to have him out here. But it’s just part of the process.”
Tomlin was noncommittal when he was asked whether Smith-Schuster would be an option Sunday.
“I don’t know that. Like I said, we just started his 21-day window and what transpires out here and a lot of other questions are part of the equation,” Tomlin said.
Smith-Schuster signed a one-year deal to return to the Steelers for 2021. He has 15 catches for 129 yards this season in his limited action.