Mike Tomlin: “Big opportunities” for other receivers with JuJu Smith-Schuster out

NFL: OCT 10 Broncos at Steelers
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Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster will miss the rest of the season after injuring his shoulder in Sunday’s win over the Broncos and the team’s plans at receiver were a topic of conversation at head coach Mike Tomlin’s press conference on Tuesday.

Tomlin said that his “heart aches” for Smith-Schuster, who is playing on a one-year deal, but that he is also excited about the “big opportunities” that now exist for players like James Washington, Ray-Ray McCloud, and Cody White to make their mark on offense.

“We’re not trying to replace JuJu. We’re just trying to provide opportunities for guys to have expanded roles,” Tomlin said.

A report in August said Washington, who was out Sunday with a groin injury, asked to be traded, but Tomlin denied that was the case and Washington said only that he loves Pittsburgh. Tomlin said Tuesday that the team has “a lot of confidence” in Washington, which could give him the first crack at playing time alongside Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson.