Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is hoping to return in Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Smith-Schuster has missed the past three games while nursing a knee injury suffered in Week 11 against the Browns.
The USC product did not participate in practice last week leading up to the team's 23-17 road win over the Cardinals. He has recorded 38 receptions for 524 yards and three touchdowns this season. Smith-Schuster had his best season in 2018, with 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns.
Head coach Mike Tomlin turned to quarterback Devlin Hodges in the second half of the Steelers' Week 12 win at Cincinnati, replacing Mason Rudolph, and Hodges has started both games since. Hodges played what resembled competent football again this week, completing 16 of 19 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. Seven different players caught passes, but the production largely came from Diontae Johnson and James Washington in Smith-Schuster's absence.
The AFC North franchise was also without running back James Conner, who has missed three games as well.
Entering the season, many prognosticators had questions over whether or not Smith-Schuster would be able to handle the attention that comes with being a team's No. 1 wide receiver without Antonio Brown. Those same questions remain unanswered in a season without veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and with multiple injuries.
Pittsburgh is currently clinging onto the sixth and final playoff seed with an 8-5 record. The Steelers are a game back of the Bills but tied with the Titans. Their remaining three regular-season games are against those same Bills, plus the Jets and Ravens.