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Steelers make moves ahead of Seahawks game

The Steelers made multiple roster moves ahead of Sunday night's game against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field.

The team activated tackle Zach Banner from the Reserve/Injured Designated for Return List, placing him on the 53-man roster.

Banner returned to practice on Wednesday, Sept. 29 and the team had 21 days to decide whether to activate him or not. Banner was originally placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Sept. 1.

"I said that we expected to be back by Week 1," said Banner a week ago. "I wasn't and it's not me. It's not coaches. It's my body. And it's the coaches telling me they want me to do it right. So just following my job through listening, following the rules, listening to the coaches, doing my job.

"I want to play. I'm ready to play."

Banner, who signed a two-year contract in the offseason, is coming off a season-ending knee injury he suffered in Week 1 of the 2020 season against the New York Giants. He had just won the right tackle spot when the injury ended his year.

To make room for him on the roster, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was placed on the Reserve/Injured list after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Denver Broncos.

Smith-Schuster, who signed a one-year contract this offseason, had 15 receptions for 129 yards, an 8.6-yard average, and no receiving touchdowns so far this season. He had three carries for nine yards and one rushing touchdown.

"I love this game so much, more than anyone will know," said Smith-Schuster the day after his injury at his event for the JuJu Foundation, also admitting he stayed awake and cried all night after learning the severity of his injury. "Football will always come first. Without football I wouldn't be who I am today. I cried that night because you never know what the future holds for you."

In his first five seasons in the NFL, Smith-Schuster has played in 63 games, starting 51. He has 323 career receptions for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns, bringing energy and explosiveness to the offense. In 2020, Smith-Schuster had 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Steelers second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster finished his first season with 58 receptions for 917 yards and seven receiving touchdowns while winning the Joe Greene Great Performance Award for the Steelers Rookie of the Year.

Smith-Schuster was voted the team's 2018 Most Valuable Player, earning the honor in just his second season in the league and also played in his first Pro Bowl.