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"I sat there and cried all night" - JuJu Smith-Schuster opens up on devastating injury news and rehab

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
Bethany Cohen
ANALYST

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a fan favorite since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017. Smith-Schuster worked his way to becoming one of the Steelers' top wide receivers and a favorite of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

After the 2020 NFL season, when the Steelers' aspirations of making a deep playoff run came to a devastating end, Smith-Schuster became a free agent. Instead of accepting more long-term, lucrative deals with the Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs, Smith-Schuster decided to return to the Steelers on just a one-year deal worth $8 million so that he could once again play in the city he now calls home in front of the fans he loves.

On Sunday, though, against the Denver Broncos, JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a dislocated shoulder that required surgery, ending his 2021 NFL season.

At the @JuJuFoundation Luau on Monday night, @TeamJuJu delivered a message to his family, friends and teammates in attendance. https://t.co/sbRAIHU2Y8

JuJu Smith-Schuster devastated over season-ending injury

JuJu Smith-Schuster was told on Sunday that he would need surgery to repair the shoulder injury he suffered on Sunday afternoon. But on Monday night, Smith-Schuster had a prior commitment that he definitely wasn't going to miss.

JuJu Smith-Schuster's annual "JuJu Foundation Luau" is an annual event hosted by the foundation as a nod to his Samoan heritage. Smith-Schuster took to the stage on Monday evening with his arm in a sling and spoke about the injury.

Clearly emotional, Smith-Schuster talked about how devastated he was when he learned that his season was over.

“I sat there and I cried,” Smith-Schuster said. “I cried all night. I cried because I love this game so much. More than anyone could know.”

Smith-Schuster went on to say that he cried because he loves the game of football more than anyone could possibly know. He said that he also cried because of everything that football has allowed him to do, which includes creating the foundation and holding the events like the one he was speaking at.

“I know the whole social media thing, and the TikTok and the dancing,” he said. “I do it because it’s my personality and I love it. Don’t get me wrong, football will always come first. Without football I wouldn’t be who I am today. Without football this [foundation] wouldn’t be. I wouldn’t be a role model for a whole lot of people.”

But, above all, Smith-Schuster said that he was so upset by the news that he received from the doctor because his NFL future is now unknown. Without actually saying it, Smith-Schuster knows that as a free agent who signed just a one-year deal, he will now need to sign another contract after having played in only four full games this season.

Some words from me. Thank you everyone for the love and support! https://t.co/kCmhyKSXVy

JuJu Smith-Schuster underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday afternoon. It was successful and in a few weeks, he will begin the rehabiliatation process on the road to recovery.


Edited by LeRon Haire
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