NFL

Steelers designate WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) to return from injured reserve

The Pittsburgh Steelers could be receiving some receiving reinforcements for the postseason.

JuJu Smith-Schuster was designated to return from injured reserve and returned to practice Thursday, the team announced. The move comes roughly three months after Smith-Schuster was placed on IR after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Pittsburgh also announced that fellow receiver James Washington was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday’s wild-card clash with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The surprise roster decision means Smith-Schuster could be activated off IR for the playoffs, right in time to give Ben Roethlisberger an extra pass-catcher in what is, barring an upset, expected to be his final NFL game. Smith-Schuster had 15 receptions on 28 targets for 129 yards through five games this season before his injury.

Pittsburgh’s leading receiver in 2018 and 2020, Smith-Schuster saw the likes of Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth lead the team this year while he waited out the season on the sideline.

If Smith-Schuster, who is entering free agency in 2022 after returning to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal in 2021, is to play in one more game for the Steelers, he’ll need to be activated by Saturday afternoon.

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