There is good news for the Steelers as they take on the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome. Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was limited in practice on Thursday and missed practice on Friday, is active and will play today.
Smith-Schuster, who was listed as questionable, injured his groin on Thursday and left practice. His presence will be a key as he is the Steelers leading receiver with 1,274 yards on 95 receptions and has six receiving touchdowns. The tandem of Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown is something that has opposing defenses on their toes every week.
“Their receivers, obviously, are very explosive,” said Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. “I think different types of receivers they have – JuJu Smith-Schuster, who's a little bit of a bigger more physical type of receiver. He’s got a big catch radius and I think he does a really good job. Antonio Brown, not quite as big of a receiver but yet, very fast, shifty, quick. All of them do a really good job of staying alive through the down, and so when it's not there early and Ben (Roethlisberger) does a good job of maneuvering in the pocket and buying a little bit of extra time. They do a really good job of uncovering and getting some of those off- schedule plays down the field which presents a challenge.”
The Steelers will be without James Conner again today after he was ruled out and is inactive for the third straight week.
With Conner out, Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley will once again carry the load. The running game was on fire last week against the New England Patriots when Samuels carried the ball 19 times for 142 yards.
“His tape was good,” said Saints Coach Sean Payton. “Those guys ran the ball well last week. New England was doing certain things to take some of the throws away. It was a relatively low-scoring game, but he certainly looked comfortable in his role.”
In addition to Conner, the Steelers inactives include Mason Rudolph, Marcus Allen, Brian Allen, Zach Banner, Ola Adeniyi, and L.T. Walton.
No. 2 QB Mason Rudolph
No. 27 S Marcus Allen
No. 29 CB Brian Allen
No. 30 RB James Conner
No. 72 OT Zach Banner
No. 92 LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
No. 96 DE L.T. Walton
No. 15 WR Simmie Cobbs
No. 51 LB Manti Te'o
No. 70 DE Mitchell Loewen
No. 74 T Jermon Bushrod
No. 80 WR Austin Carr
No. 85 TE Dan Arnold
No. 91 DE Trey Hendrickson