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Smith-Schuster bounces back

The night didn't quite end the way the Steelers envisioned it otherwise might have, but at least this time wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was able to finish what he had started.

"Injuries after injuries, it happens," the Steelers' No. 2 pick observed following Saturday night's 19-15 preseason loss to Indianapolis. "Nobody's perfect. My mentality is to stay positive."

Smith-Schuster had done that despite suffering an ankle injury on the first day of training camp.

He'd also endured a concussion that had knocked him out in the first quarter of the preseason opener on Aug. 11 at the New York Football Giants, and a bone bruise on Aug. 16 that had forced him to miss the Steelers' preseason win on Aug. 20 against Atlanta.

So when Smith-Schuster came up limping after taking a shot to the left knee following his first reception of the night late in the second quarter against the Colts, his patience was understandably tested.  

"I was like, another one?" Smith-Schuster acknowledged. "But like I said, It happens."

He was able to re-enter the game this time and finished with three catches for 31 yards.

Take a look at the best photos from the Week 3 preseason matchup against the Colts. The Colts defeated the Steelers 19-15.

His most representative effort of the preseason to date might have been the ball he caught on third-and-10 from the Steelers' 49-yard line with 4:15 left in the third quarter. Smith-Schuster accepted quarterback Landry Jones'  pass at the Colts' 45 and ran through the attempted tackle of safety T.J. Green, eluded cornerback Corey White and picked up 15 yards and a first down before getting pushed out of bounds.

Cornerback William Gay and safety Mike Mitchell, who wasn't in uniform, enthusiastically celebrated the effort with Smith-Schuster along the Steelers' sideline as Smith-Schuster made his way back to the huddle.

"You see the down and distance, your mentality is to get the first down," Smith-Schuster said. "They hit me up high and I broke off and got the first."

Smith-Schuster also drew a 17-yard penalty for pass interference on a throw into the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

That set the Steelers up 1 yard away from what would have been the go-ahead touchdown, but Jones' subsequent attempt to hit Smith-Schuster on first-and-goal was intercepted.

"It was just a bad play," Smith-Schuster said. "There's always room to improve."

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