Last season, one of the biggest plays of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season was JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fumble late in a loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Steelers weren’t guaranteed to win if Smith-Schuster didn’t fumble, but the turnover sealed a loss and Pittsburgh barely missed the playoffs.
The Steelers likely aren’t going to the playoffs this season either. Another Smith-Schuster fumble was one reason they’re in a big hole.
The shorthanded Steelers fought hard against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. They were down to third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges after Mason Rudolph was knocked out on a scary hit. The Steelers still took the Ravens to overtime.
And the Ravens won in overtime after Smith-Schuster fumbled again. Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey punched the ball out right after Smith-Schuster secured a catch. The Ravens recovered in Steelers territory and Justin Tucker kicked a game-winning field goal on the ensuing drive.
“I feel terrible man,” Smith-Schuster told the media after the game. “It’s literally the worst feeling ever.”
The Steelers are 1-4, without Ben Roethlisberger the rest of the season and perhaps without Rudolph for a while too. Smith-Schuster was visibly shaken as trainers looked at Rudolph on the field after the quarterback was knocked out.
The season isn’t technically over, but close. Smith-Schuster wasn’t the reason the Steelers lost. He helped keep them in the game with a touchdown. Pittsburgh had plenty of chances to make other plays, or stop the Ravens late in regulation after the Steelers took a lead. Also credit Humphrey for making a great play to punch the ball out.
But the likable Smith-Schuster will take Sunday’s loss hard. It will linger for the rest of what will likely be a long Steelers season.
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