Smith-Schuster says he'll play more snaps outside this season, Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Smith-Schuster has taken more than half his snaps from the slot in each of four NFL seasons, slowly increasing from 57.8 percent (2017) to 61.0 percent (2018) to 66.7 percent (2019), before leaping to 84.7 percent in 2020, per PFF. He's arguably at his best working inside, but a 5.8 aDOT last season didn't give him many opportunities for long gains. While more work outside could help Smith-Schuster get a few deep looks, he may also face tougher target/touch/snap competition this year after the Steelers improved their backfield in the first round of the 2021 draft (with Najee Harris) and used their second-round pick on a tight end (Pat Freiermuth) who could encourage more multi-TE looks. The team also still has Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and James Washington at wide receiver, all of whom will compete for targets from 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger.
Smith-Schuster is signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Steelers, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Rapoport suggests Smith-Schuster received better contract offers from the Ravens and Chiefs but decided to stay in Pittsburgh for at least one more year. He's counting on a friendlier free-agent market next offseason, at which point he'll be just 25 years old. Smith-Schuster hasn't made as many big plays the past couple years, but his cumulative receiving stats through four NFL seasons (308/3,726/26) are impressive. The biggest issue in Pittsburgh is a lack of downfield targets, with Smith-Schuster's aDOT dipping to a career-low 5.6 in 2020 as he led the league in slot routes (545) and slot targets (103). That allowed him to catch a career-high 76.4 percent of his targets, but for a career-low 8.6 yards per reception. While he'll likely do better than 8.6 YPR in 2021, it's hard to imagine Smith-Schuster getting a lot of deep targets in an offense where Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and James Washington dominate perimeter snaps.
Smith-Schuster has been talking with the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The Jets recently signed Corey Davis and still have Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder under contract. While there are certainly bigger needs on the roster, it makes sense to prioritize pass-catching weapons as the team prepares to acquire a new quarterback. Plus, the Jets could trade or release Crowder if they end up signing Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster hauled in a whopping 13 passes (19 targets) for 157 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 48-37 playoff loss to the Browns.
The Steelers' offense as a whole looked like the team that was without its head coach and lacking a week of practice in the first quarter. Ben Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster finally got things rolling over the next three periods, but the deficit had grown too large to catch up. Still, it was a big win for the Smith-Schuster from a fantasy perspective, as it was his first 100-plus yard game with a touchdown this season. Smith-Schuster finished the regular season with 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns. The combination of receptions and scores kept him useful in PPR formats, but the veteran saw a drop in usage to make room for Pittsburgh's suddenly stacked receiver corps. Smith-Schuster will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and a change of scenery seems plausible given the contract he could command and the Steelers' depth at the position. If Smith-Schuster lands in a situation in which receiver help is needed, it could put the talented wideout back in the upper echelon of pass catchers.
Smith-Schuster (knee) practiced fully Friday and does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's wild-card matchup against the Browns, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
Smith-Schuster was held out of Thursday's practice due to a knee injury he's been dealing with all year, but it never seemed his status for Sunday's playoff bout was in any real danger. After piling up at least 50 yards and a score in three of his last four games to end the regular season, Smith-Schuster now will focus his attention toward dissecting a Browns secondary that may be without some combination of Denzel Ward (COVID-19 list), Terrance Mitchell (non-injury related) and M.J. Stewart (calf).
Smith-Schuster (knee) didn't practice Thursday.
Though Smith-Schuster wasn't on the Steelers' Wednesday injury report, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com suggests "that's the same knee issue (the wideout has) had all year, so it's not a concern." With that in mind, there's a chance Smith-Schuster heads into Sunday's playoff game against the Browns minus an injury designation, an outcome that will be confirmed one way or the other upon the release of Friday's injury report.
Smith-Schuster recorded six receptions on eight targets for 65 yards and a touchdown in Week 17 against the Browns.
Smith-Schuster continued to be a reliable target for the Steelers, regularly working in the short areas of the field. However, he also turned in a few big plays, highlighted by a 26-yard reception and two-yard touchdown catch. Though Smith-Schuster struggled to command consistent volume at times during the season, he ended up with 128 targets and 97 receptions to go along with nine touchdowns. He'll enter the offseason as a free agent, though for now Smith-Schuster's attention will be on the Steelers' playoff run.
Smith-Schuster caught nine of 13 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts.
Smith-Schuster led the team in catches and receiving yards as he notched a new season high in the latter category. He also helped his team complete the come-from-behind victory with a pretty 25-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Smith-Schuster has primarily been used around the line of scrimmage this season, but he received more looks downfield in this one and responded by averaging over 10.0 yards per reception for just the fourth time. He'll look to finish the regular season on a high note in next Sunday's finale against the Browns.
Smith-Schuster caught three of six targets for 15 yards and lost a fumble in Monday's 27-17 loss to the Bengals.
Smith-Schuster fumbled after taking a massive hit on a crossing route, ending Pittsburgh's fifth straight possession of the first quarter without a first down. The slot receiver never really got an opportunity to make amends for that error, falling short of 30 yards for the fifth time this season. Consistency has been an issue for Smith-Schuster in 2020, but he has compiled a respectable 82 catches for 670 yards and seven touchdowns heading into a Week 16 visit from the Colts.
Smith-Schuster had six receptions (seven targets) for 55 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 26-15 loss to Buffalo.
Smith-Schuster was the lone bright spot on a forgettable offensive night for the normally high-octane Steelers aerial attack. The elder statesman of Pittsburgh's young wideout corps led the team in all receiving categories, which hasn't been a regular occurrence in 2020. That's not to say that Smith-Schuster isn't being utilized, as he is averaging a healthy 7.8 targets per game this year. The 26-year-old simply isn't doing a whole lot with those opportunities, falling below 50 receiving yards on seven occasions while failing to register a 100-plus yard performance through 13 contests. The bright spot on Smith-Schuster's resume is the 79 receptions he has tallied, which undoubtedly boosts his utility in PPR formats heading into a soft matchup against the Bengals on Monday.
Smith-Schuster brought in seven of his 10 targets for 28 yards in Monday's 23-17 loss to Washington.
The Steelers relied heavily on the passing game once again, with Ben Roethlisberger attempting a season-high 53 passes. Smith-Schuster commanded a sizable target share, but he garnered only 2.8 yards per target, his lowest mark since Week 6. Pittsburgh has passed at least 40 times in each of the last five contests, and Smith-Schuster has received a fair share of targets. However, he's only averaging 4.4 yards per reception over the last three games.
Smith-Schuster recorded eight receptions on nine targets for 37 yards and a touchdown in Wednesday's 19-14 win over the Ravens.
Ben Roethlisberger took to the air 51 times in the contest, leaving plenty of volume for all of his pass catchers. Smith-Schuster was used primarily in the short areas of the field, as he averaged only 4.1 yards per target despite hauling in nearly all of the looks he received. Even with the low yardage total, Smith-Schuster salvaged his day with a one-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter, giving him six scores on the season.
Smith-Schuster (foot) was a full participant in Thursday's practice, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
Smith-Schuster increased his practice activity in each of the past three days, moving from no participation Monday to limited work Tuesday before concluding Week 12 as a full participant. The wideout likely would have been on track to play Thanksgiving Day against the Ravens, but he'll benefit from more time to recover from the foot injury after the NFL moved the game to Sunday due to a surge of positive COVID-19 tests within the Baltimore camp.
Smith-Schuster (toe) was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
The activity represents a step forward for Smith-Schuster, who was listed as a non-participant on Monday's estimated practice report. He would ideally upgrade to full activity in Wednesday's practice and avoid carrying an injury designation into Thursday's game versus Baltimore, but even another limited showing would seemingly put him in good shape to play Week 12.
Smith-Schuster (toe) was listed as a non-participant on Monday's estimated practice report, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Smith-Schuster tripped over the weighted portion of a penalty flag near the end of this past Sunday's win in Jacksonville. While he didn't return to the game, the team noted he could have taken the field again, if he was needed. Smith-Schuster will look to increase his activity level in advance of Thursday's game versus the Ravens.
Smith-Schuster suffered a toe injury during Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
On his way to the sidelines, Smith-Schuster tripped on the weighted portion of a penalty flag and immediately started limping. The team relayed that he could return if necessary, but the game has turned into a blowout in the Steelers' favor. Smith-Schuster will finish Sunday's game with four catches for 19 yards, and he'll look to recover quickly with a Thursday night game against the Ravens up next.
Smith-Schuster recorded nine receptions on 13 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 against the Bengals.
Smith-Schuster led the team with 13 targets, the second time he's surpassed 10 in his last four contests. He didn't turn that opportunity into a massive yardage total, though he still recorded receptions of 24 and 12 yards. Smith-Schuster also found the end zone for the fifth time this season, slipping free from coverage for an eight-yard catch halfway through the second quarter. After a slow start to the season, Smith-Schuster has topped 65 yards in each of his last four games, and he'll draw an exploitable matchup against the Jaguars in Week 12.
Smith-Schuster (knee) was a full participant in Thursday's practice, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.
Smith-Schuster appears to have received a maintenance day Wednesday, as has been a regular occurrence all season. By returning as a full participant in Thursday's practice, he's successfully shed any concern about his availability for Week 10. Smith-Schuster has averaged 82 receiving yards over the Steelers' last three games, and Cincinnati's exploitable secondary will provide a favorable stage to continue his productive streak Sunday.
Smith-Schuster didn't practice Wednesday due to a knee injury, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
Smith-Schuster has regularly sat out Wednesday practices this season, and Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette relays that the wideout's absence this week can be considered a rest day, despite his injury designation. The 23-year-old is coming off a season-high 93-yard outing in last week's win over the Cowboys.
Smith-Schuster caught six of seven targets for 93 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 24-19 win over the Cowboys.
He set a season high in receiving yards in the comeback win, and Smith-Schuster's fourth-quarter TD catch was his first score since Week 3. Despite the productive afternoon, he was only third on the Steelers in targets, and the competition for looks from Ben Roethlisberger should remain fierce in Week 10 against a vulnerable Bengals defense.
|1||Mon 09/14||@ NYG||W 26-16||6||69||11.5||17||2|
|2||Sun 09/20||vs DEN||W 26-21||7||48||6.9||18||0|
|3||Sun 09/27||vs HOU||W 28-21||4||43||10.8||26||1|
|5||Sun 10/11||vs PHI||W 38-29||4||28||7.0||14||0|
|6||Sun 10/18||vs CLE||W 38-7||2||6||3.0||5||0|
|7||Sun 10/25||@ TEN||W 27-24||9||85||9.4||28||0|
|8||Sun 11/01||@ BAL||W 28-24||7||67||9.6||24||0|
|9||Sun 11/08||@ DAL||W 24-19||6||93||15.5||31||1|
|10||Sun 11/15||vs CIN||W 36-10||9||77||8.6||24||1|
|11||Sun 11/22||@ JAC||W 27-3||4||19||4.8||9||0|
|12||Wed 12/02||vs BAL||W 19-14||8||37||4.6||11||1|
|13||Mon 12/07||vs WAS||L 17-23||7||28||4.0||9||0|
|14||Sun 12/13||@ BUF||L 15-26||6||55||9.2||20||1|
|15||Mon 12/21||@ CIN||L 17-27||3||15||5.0||21||0|
|16||Sun 12/27||vs IND||W 28-24||9||96||10.7||25||1|
|17||Sun 01/03||@ CLE||L 22-24||6||65||10.8||26||1|
|18||Sun 01/10||vs CLE||L 37-48||13||157||12.1||33||1|
|Career Receiving Stats|
|Career Rushing Stats|
|Career Kick Return Stats|