The Steelers will need to go the rest of the way during the 2021 season without receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the midst of Week 5. Just days after going down, the 24-year-old announced on social media that he underwent successful surgery on that shoulder Wednesday morning. While he was thankful for the successful procedure, he did note that he was "heartbroken" that his season was cut short and vowed to recover to put a full offseason of work together to be ready for the 2022 season.
"Blessed to have had a successful surgery this morning," Smith-Schuster wrote in his post. "There's no other way to say it, but I'm heartbroken that I'm going to be out for the rest of the season. It kills me to have worked hard all year to help our team on the field and now have my season cut short five weeks in. I'll do everything in my power to recover and I'll put in another full offseason of work next year to perform to the best of my ability next season.
"Thank you to the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of me, and to the Steelers organization for supporting me during this tough time! Thank you everyone for the well wishes too. I really appreciate all of the love. Be back soon."
What makes this injury even more interesting is that it could have marked the end of his time with the Steelers. After re-signing with Pittsburgh on a one-year deal this offseason and turning down other offers around the league, Smith-Schuster will enter unrestricted free agency yet again this offseason. If he can show he's back to full strength or will be by the time next season rolls around, he should have a solid market.
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