On Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers snapped their three-game losing streak with a 27-19 victory over the Broncos at Heinz Field. The win raised the team’s record to 2-3, with Denver falling to 3-2.
But wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster appeared to suffer a serious shoulder injury in the second quarter while being tackled on a jet sweep. Certainly he was in significant pain while leaving the field with team doctors.
At first the Steelers listed Smith-Schuster as questionable to return, but he was ruled out shortly afterwards. He finished with two carries for six yards while being targeted on only one occasion.
After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that the fifth-year wideout “has a shoulder injury and is being evaluated at the hospital.”
The latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!
Devin Bush Jr. Has a Groin Injury
The other injury of note concerns inside linebacker Devin Bush Jr., who left the game with what Steelers Director of Communications Burt Lauten described as a leg injury. But after the game, Tomlin indicated it’s a groin injury, an issue that hindered Bush earlier this season and caused him to miss the Week 2 game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
“We (also) had a couple guys cramping,” Tomlin added, making reference to rookie running back Najee Harris, who had his first 100-yard game as a member of the Steelers. Harris carried the ball 23 times for 122 yards and a touchdown (5.3 yards per carry). He also caught two passes for another 20 yards.
Otherwise, it was “the regular bumps and bruises associated with play,” concluded the Steelers head coach, who acknowledged the importance of not falling to 1-4.
Mike Tomlin: ‘We Needed This One’
“We needed this one today, obviously, and it was a big one,” said Tomlin, during his post-game press conference.
It helped that Pittsburgh’s offense got off to a strong start, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Diontae Johnson to grab an early 7-0 lead. Roethlisberger finished 15 of 25 for 253 yards and two touchdown passes.
Chase Claypool was the team’s leading receiver with five catches for 130 yards and a touchdown, with Johnson contributing two receptions for 72 yards, including the aforementioned touchdown catch.
But it was the defense that put an end to Denver’s comeback hopes when Steelers cornerback James Pierre intercepted a Teddy Bridgewater pass in the end zone with 11 seconds to go. Pierre also led Pittsburgh’s defense with six tackles, while tying for the team lead with two passes defensed.
Pittsburgh also got help from its kicking game today, with placekicker Chris Boswell converting both of his field goal attempts and all three of his extra-point attempts. Rookie punter Pressley Harvin III only had to swing his leg twice, contributing punts of 56 and 63 yards.
But even with the win, the Steelers remain alone in last place in the AFC North.
Tomlin’s postgame press conference can be watched in its entirety immediately below:
Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
• Bengals Terminate Contract of Ex-Steelers Starting Safety
• Broncos Sign Ex-Steelers Linebacker Ahead of Week 5 Matchup
• Ex-Steelers Star James Harrison Hopes to Land ‘Super Supervillain’ Role