The Steelers activated receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster from the Reserve/Injured List ahead of Sunday's Wild Card Round game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Smith-Schuster suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter of the Steelers Week 5 win over the Denver Broncos and underwent surgery for it. He was placed on the Reserve/Injured List on Oct. 16 and returned to practice this past Thursday.
After his first practice, Coach Mike Tomlin had the following to say.
"He's worked hard in rehabilitation and gotten himself to this point and we simply started the 21-day window," said Tomlin. "We'll look at him, see how he feels and check his level of conditioning, things that we normally do when people get into that 21-day window. It's just part of the process. It was just a start."
Smith-Schuster had 15 receptions for 129 yards, an 8.6-yard average, and no receiving touchdowns in five games prior to the injury. He had three carries for nine yards and one rushing touchdown.
"JuJu's an amazing player," said running back Najee Harris. "To see him back at practice, everybody's pretty re-energized. Just to see him out there practicing gives a big boost, just to have another key player back. Just have another guy come back and practice gives us even more energy."
Fellow receiver Diontae Johnson said he liked what he saw from Smith-Schuster in practice, and that it was like watching the player he has become accustomed to seeing.
"I thought he looked smooth," said Johnson. "He still has great hands, a natural catcher. Big hands, strong. Just seeing him run around, he is still JuJu at the end of the day and it's exciting.
"I'm happy he is back. If he gets a chance to play, I'm going to be excited for him, to see him do what he does, which is make plays. It was good to see him out there.
"He brings back that positive energy that we need and that he always brings. You want to be around a guy like that, who's all about football, all about his teammates. Wanting to do anything for the team. And he's a people person. So, there's never a dull moment when he is around."
The team also released punter Corliss Waitman.