October 3, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) tackles Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Samantha Madar/Green Bay Press Gazette via USA TODAY NETWORK

Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster designated to return from IR

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster returned to practice on Thursday but remains on injured reserve.

The Steelers have 21 days to activate Smith-Schuster from IR.

Smith-Schuster sustained a shoulder injury in Pittsburgh’s 27-19 victory over the Denver Broncos on Oct. 10. He was expected to miss the remainder of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery.

It is not immediately known if he’ll be ready to play for Pittsburgh in its wild-card game at the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Smith-Schuster, 25, had 15 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns in five games this season. He signed a one-year, $8 million contract prior to the season.

A Pro Bowl selection in 2018, Smith-Schuster has 323 catches for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns in 63 career games. He was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers team orthopedic doctor James Bradley (left) looks at the right arm of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) after Smith-Schuster suffered an apparent injury against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Smith-Schuster  would leave the game. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers put WR JuJu Smith-Schuster on IR

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially placed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on injured reserve Saturday.

The veteran receiver injured his right shoulder against the Denver Broncos last week, an injury for which he underwent surgery earlier this week. It’s expected that Smith-Schuster will be lost for the rest of the season.

For the season, Smith-Schuster, 24, has 15 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns in five games.

A second-round pick in 2017 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2018, Smith-Schuster has 323 career catches for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns in 63 games.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers team orthopedic doctor James Bradley (left) looks at the right arm of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) after Smith-Schuster suffered an apparent injury against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Smith-Schuster  would leave the game. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Report: JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) feared lost for season

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to land on injured reserve and could miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.

Smith-Schuster was taken to the hospital for evaluation after Sunday’s win against the visiting Denver Broncos.

On the first play of a Pittsburgh drive in the second quarter, Smith-Schuster rushed around the left end for 3 yards before being tackled by Broncos safety Kareem Jackson.

Jackson’s helmet struck Smith-Schuster’s right arm and the fifth-year wideout appeared to be in serious pain as he was helped to the locker room.

Smith-Schuster, 24, finished with two carries for 6 yards and zero catches on one target. For the season, he has 15 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns in five games.

A second-round pick in 2017 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2018, Smith-Schuster has 323 career catches for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns in 63 games.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) jogs off the field following the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) day-to-day

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was diagnosed with bruised ribs and is day-to-day, NFL Network reported Monday.

Smith-Schuster left Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half and did not return. NFL Network said X-rays were negative.

He had three catches for 25 yards against the Bengals, raising his season totals to 13 receptions for 118 yards with no touchdowns.

A second-round pick in 2017 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2018, Smith-Schuster has 321 catches for 3,844 yards and 26 TDs in 61 career games.

The Steelers (1-2) visit the Green Bay Packers (2-1) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) runs the ball past Cleveland Browns cornerback Terrance Mitchell (39) in the third quarter of an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster to stay in Pittsburgh

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is returning to Pittsburgh.

He reportedly gave the salary-cap-strapped Steelers a hometown deal, bypassing bigger offers to stay with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He will receive $8 million for the 2021 season, less than the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens offered, according to NFL Network.

“This is my home, they’re gonna need a wrecking ball to take me outta here! PITTSBURGH I LOVE YOU, LET’S GO!!!!!,” he tweeted, his words followed by four hearts in the Steelers’ black and gold team colors.

Smith-Schuster, 24, had 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. He has made 308 receptions for 3,726 yards and 26 touchdowns in four seasons with the Steelers. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers add WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) to injury report

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster did not practice Thursday due to a knee injury.

Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs was also added to the injury report due to an illness.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Smith-Schuster’s injury is new or something he has been dealing with. The fourth-year wideout played in all 16 games this season and his absence would be huge in Sunday night’s home wild-card game against the Cleveland Browns.

He caught six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in a 24-22 loss in Cleveland last Sunday.

Smith-Schuster, 24, had a team-high 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season.

Buggs, 24, tallied 11 tackles and one quarterback hit in 10 games (one start).

Thursday’s injury report was mostly good news, with kicker Chris Boswell (right groin), cornerback Steven Nelson (knee), safety Terrell Edmunds (shoulder), defensive end Tyson Alualu (ankle) and linebacker Vince Williams (quadriceps) all listed as full participants.

–Field Level Media

Sep 14, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) gains yards after catch as New York Giants linebacker Kyler Fackrell (51) tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers WR Johnson returns to practice, JuJu does not

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw the return to practice of Diontae Johnson on Thursday, however fellow wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was unable to participate for the second straight day.

Johnson, who is nursing a toe injury, leads the Steelers (2-0) with 14 catches and 149 receiving yards.

Smith-Schuster, who is being plagued by an ailing knee, has 13 receptions for 117 yards and a team-high two touchdowns.

Right guard David DeCastro was a full participant in practice for the second straight day after missing the first two games with a knee injury.

Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (knee) was a full participant after missing Wednesday’s practice.

–Field Level Media

Five AFC North Stars Who Are Gamers

JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR Pittsburgh Steelers
Smith-Schuster is one of the NFL’s most vocal proponents of esports. He made headlines last March when he squaded up in Fortnite with Ninja, Drake and Travis Scott in a twitch stream that broke the individual record for viewers on the streaming platform.
Even before joining that stream, Smith-Schuster signed an apparel deal with esports organization FaZe Clan. FaZe originally started as a Call of Duty trick-shot clan. They were immensely popular in the “golden age” of COD on YouTube and have since expanded to represent top players in a variety of games.


At only 21 years old, Smith-Schuster was the youngest player in the NFL in the 2017 season. Like other fans of Call of Duty, he probably tried to emulate the insane moves pulled off by members of the group considered COD’s most elite snipers.
While Smith-Schuster probably never progressed to the level of pulling off a double-ladder spin quick scope – shown here by FaZe Fakie – he did play the game on “insane,” the highest sensitivity possible which requires a deft touch on the joystick. According to his teammates, he’s the man to beat in a Steelers locker room that offers plenty of competition
Le’Veon Bell – RB Pittsburgh Steelers
Another key part of Pittsburgh’s high-octane offense, Bell is also a huge gamer. He is relentless on the field and, while growing up, was relentless on the sticks as well.
“My mom used to have to take the game from me ’cause I would play it so much,” Bell told SB Nation. “Call of Duty is what got me started, I got so addicted to the game, I’d do my homework before school so that after practice I would be able to instantly go home and get on the game. When I was younger, it was Grand Theft Auto, but now it’s mostly COD and Madden.”
Now, not only is Bell a fan of the game, he is actually a character in COD:WWII. Alongside teammate Alejandro Villanueva, Bell was featured in the game’s “Headquarters” mode.


“Oh, I’ve always been a “Call of Duty” fan, but I didn’t expect to ever be in the game,” Bell told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’d never even thought about that. It was crazy that I had the opportunity to do it. I’ve been playing Call of Duty for years, since I had PS3.”
For him and Villanueva to be in the game took seven hours of motion capture over two days. The motion capture is the most extensive for a COD game to date as the franchise returned to its gritty, realistic roots for WWII. Before that version, the series had taken a futuristic vibe with titles like Black Ops III and Infinite Warfare.
Alejandro Villanueva – LT Pittsburgh Steelers
He was mentioned alongside, Bell but he has a unique perspective on Call of Duty that few NFL players can share. After graduating from West Point, Villanueva served in three tours in Afghanistan where he was awarded a Bronze Star, for rescuing injured soldiers under enemy fire.
A common thread in his life, from being an Army Ranger overseas to now being a starting left tackle, has been Call of Duty.
“I was [in Afghanistan] in 2011, ’12, ’13, ’14 and ’15, so I played every single game that came out,” Villanueva told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I played all of them. Whatever one was the new one, I was playing.”
On the surface, people may be surprised that soldiers spend their free time playing a model of war, but Villanueva explains that video games are a symbol of home. Villanueva, who was entered the army as a second lieutenant, often played with enlisted soldiers.
“When we were doing the real thing, we were still playing video games,” he said in the same interview. “Enlisted soldiers, they’re young guys who just got out of high school. You graduate from high school, you’re living your high-school life, and then a year and a half later, you’re in Afghanistan and doing the real life.”
Baker Mayfield – QB Cleveland Browns
Finally moving away from Pittsburgh, we turn to Cleveland’s new bastion of hope. The No. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield, lit up offenses at Oklahoma and now will lead a Brown’s offense that has the potential to be explosive for the first time in years.
Now that he has won a Heisman, and been drafted first overall, it’s hard to imagine Mayfield doing anything other than football. But, according to his college roommate Sooners fullback Jaxon Uhles, Mayfield once considered a career as a pro gamer.
“He told me at one point he was about to quit football when he was in high school and just play video games; become a professional video gamer,” Uhles told NCAA.com.
Mayfield’s dedication is obvious, going from a three-star recruit to a Heisman winner, so it’s hard to bet against his success in the virtual arena. As for what game Mayfield would be competing in? It would likely be Halo.
“One-on-one, I don’t think there’s anyone on campus who can beat me,” Mayfield told NCAA.com. “I’m gonna put that out there.”
While Halo’s competitive scene has fallen off since Mayfield’s high school days, many old pros in that scene have found a new home in Fortnite. Most notable is Ninja, who was one of the best Halo players before being vaulted to international stardom as the streaming face of Fortnite. Mayfield also made the switch and can be seen getting dubs in the game on his Instagram account with his girlfriend on his back.


AJ Green – WR Cincinnati Bengals
Green was mentioned in the AFC East iteration of this series when he went head-to-head against LeSean McCoy in a Call of Duty: Ghosts Grudge Match. While McCoy won that contest, Green didn’t take it sitting down, accusing the Bills RB of screen peeking.
“You cheating mayne, you been watching my screen,” Green said in this video.
Green is a huge fan of the game and says when football season ends, Call of Duty season begins.
“That’s all I do, I play Call of Duty non-stop,” Green told the PostGame.
In addition to COD, he also plays a lot of NBA 2K. That is similar to many other players around the league. They typically play shooters and sports simulation games like Madden, NBA 2K and FIFA.
This is part seven of our division-by-division look at some of the star gamers around the league. If you want to read more here are the completed divisions: AFC East, AFC West, NFC South, NFC North, NFC East and NFC West.