JuJu Smith-Schuster injury history and updates

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19). Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19). Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

So far to begin his NFL career, it seems like there’s a fifty-fifty chance a JuJu Smith-Schuster injury could occur on any given season. The young wide receiver had an electric first two years to start his NFL career that included 1,426 receiving yards at the age of 22 back in 2018, according to Pro Football Reference. In this season, he became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 2,500 receiving yards – surpassing the legendary Randy Moss.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the young wide receiver, as Smith-Schuster has missed 5 games in his first 4 NFL seasons because of injury and has been limited in others. With his rookie contract in the books, JuJu will attempt to stay healthy in an effort to cash in on a few more substantial paydays in his near future.

While no JuJu Smith-Schuster injury has been career-threatening, there were several that caused some setbacks on his historic pace and development early on in his NFL career. Here’s a detailed look at each injury he has suffered to date:

JuJu Smith-Schuster injury history

JuJu Smith-Schuster has hardly been one of the most banged-up players in the game, but a knee issue caused a setback late in his third NFL season. Here’s what the young wide receiver has endured so far:

JuJu Smith-Schuster shoulder, October 2021

JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a severe shoulder injury during Week 5 when taking a Denver Broncos defender head-on. The receiver seemed to be in an extraordinary amount of pain as soon as the collision took place. He left the field and did not return. JuJu was placed on injured reserve — ending his 2021 season.

JuJu Smith-Schuster knee sprain, November 2019

JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a knee injury in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. This injury caused him to miss the following four games. JuJu would return to play the final two games of the season against the Jets and Ravens, but Smith-Schuster would catch just 4 of 10 targets for a dismal 28 yards (7.0 yards per catch). Pittsburgh lost both contests – scoring just 10 points in each to close out the 2019 season.

JuJu Smith-Schuster concussion, November 2019

In addition to suffering a knee injury against the Browns in a physical Week 11 matchup, JuJu Smith-Schuster was also diagnosed with a concussion. Though the concussion reportedly would have only forced him to miss one game, the knee injury kept him out until Week 16 against the New York Jets.

JuJu Smith-Schuster hamstring, November 2017

November had JuJu Smith-Schuster’s number for a while. In Week 12 of 2017, Smith-Schuster missed the game against the Green Bay Packers with an unspecified hamstring injury. Fortunately, the Steelers would go on to win 31-28 in his absence.

Other JuJu Smith-Schuster injuries

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster concussion, October 2017: JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 but missed minimal time. He would return to play in Week 8 against the Detriot Lions and have a monstrous 7-catch, 193-yard performance.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster concussion, August 2017: JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion in the preseason opener of his rookie year. He sat out the next exhibition game but did not miss any regular-season time due to the injury.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster finger dislocation, August 2016: During a practice before the start of his junior season at USC, JuJu Smith-Schuster dislocated his right pinky finger but did not miss any games.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster toe sprain, August 2016: During the same practice he dislocated his finger on August 5th, JuJu suffered a toe sprain. However, he was ready before the season opener.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster hand fracture, October 2015: During a game against California in his sophomore season at USC, Smith-Schuster fractured his hand, which required surgery to install a plate and screw. Remarkably, he still played in the following game.

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