JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s status for Sunday isn’t certain, thanks to his questionable listing on Friday’s injury report.
But if he does find a way to play, his opponent isn’t losing sleep over it.
“No disrespect to him, he’s not Antonio Brown,” Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey said of Smith-Schuster. … “Now I’m going up against a different person, different body type, different receiver a little bit. He can make plays. But I’m going to play my game. Not really worried about it.”
Smith-Schuster’s Steelers are hosting Ramsey’s Rams on Sunday at Heinz Field. Through eight games, Smith-Schuster has proven Ramsey correct, catching 33 passes for 459 yards and three touchdowns. In a vacuum, that’s a solid season, but Smith-Schuster is coming off a 111-reception, 1,426-yard, seven-touchdown outing in 2018, and his 2019 numbers through eight games are far off that blistering pace.
It was inevitable, though, that Smith-Schuster would fall back to earth after the departure of Brown, whom the entire league regarded and defended with great respect. That created plenty of opportunities for Smith-Schuster, who took full advantage of it. He’s not getting the same chances in 2019.
Without Brown, we knew the road would be tougher for the third-year wideout. We also didn’t account for him losing his franchise quarterback in the first month of the season.
Ramsey was a mid-season arrival to the Rams, sent west via blockbuster trade. He has experience playing in Pittsburgh, where his Jacksonville Jaguars once upset the Steelers in the AFC Divisional round. He’ll return as a Ram who has recorded 11 tackles and one forced fumble in two games in a horned helmet.
We’ll see if he leaves triumphantly yet again.