PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are now tasked with replacing wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster after he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against the Denver Broncos.
Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed the Steelers will place Smith-Schuster on Injured Reserve and the wideout is scheduled to undergo surgery this week.
Now, the Steelers must replace him. Behind Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson on the depth chart are James Washington, Ray-Ray McCloud and Cody White.
Tomlin said the plan is to utilize everyone in an effort to fill the void.
"We're not trying to replace JuJu, we're just trying to provide additional opportunities for those who get expanded roles. Many of those guys we have a lot of confidence in."
The Steelers will rely heavily on Washington and McCloud's contributions moving forward.
"We have a lot of confidence in James. However unfortunate the injury is for JuJu, it does provide an opportunity for James to expand his role and do some things that we know he's capable of doing.
"It provides an opportunity for Ray-Ray McCloud to expand his role and continue to develop as a wide receiver and get more opportunities in that space. Ray-Ray has carved out a niche for himself as a return man, but that's his day job. He's been working to develop as a receiver and has done a great job in doing so.
"These opportunities are big opportunities for men like those two."
Tomlin also mentioned White growing into the offense.
"It's a big opportunity for a guy like Cody White, who's been fighting and scraping for an opportunity to lay a foundation for what hopes to be a good career for him," he said.
White has played in three games this season due to injuries to others and was signed to the 53-man roster last week. So far, he's recorded just two receptions for 17 yards in the NFL.
The Steelers will also look outside the team for options. Tomlin confirmed they will need depth at the wide receiver position but will need to sort through the "field" of free agents.
"Often times, we're looking for the best available professional as opposed to a guy with a particular skillset," Tomlin said.
The Steelers are hosting former second-round pick Anthony Miller for a workout today.
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