Updated: Oct 6
Last Thursday the Pittsburgh Steelers were waking up in the morning and heading into practice for the Titans. It was just another normal day until news broke their game has been postponed. Many Steelers players were unsure what the process would be with the NFL because they were never told what would happen if their game was postponed. The NFL ended up making the Steelers take their bye week and rescheduled their games. JuJu is the first player to break their silence on what happened and how he felt about the situation with Yahoo Sports.
“We’re practicing and the next thing you know, coach tells us," Smith-Schuster said. "We hear stuff on social media, the news, and we're like, ‘OK, cool the Titans’ practices are canceled until Saturday and it's like oh, we're going to play Sunday. You know, we still have a chance. So we prepared for game week, and by the time practice is over, our game is canceled, So now it’s like, alright, is this our bye week?”
The Steelers wanted a full bye week to get away from the Team's Facility. They did not get that chance because they still had to come in on their days off to get Covid-19 tests. Normally they would be able to spend time with their family, but the league told them to stay local. JuJu said the Steelers have 10-plus games left and asked why the bye would be so early, but he said he isn't going to complain. Wherever and Whenever Tomlin tells them to show up they will be ready to rock.
“We have about 10-plus games left and it's just, 'Ah, why is it so early?’” Smith-Schuster said with a laugh. “But it is what is, you know, I can't complain. Our coach says, you know, whatever time, wherever we are at, there's a game that we've got to play and we've got to rock.”
JuJu said it was Classic Tomlin when he heard him say "We Do Not Care," in regards to a short bye week.
“That is classic Coach Tomlin for you," Smith-Schuster said. "He is very transparent in what he says.”
JuJu also said that if you do not show up for your scheduled Covid-19 test you will be fined $50,000 by the NFL. He then continued to say the Bye Week did not feel like one.
“Like I said, it doesn't feel like a bye week," Smith-Schuster said. "For us, it's more so preparation for the Eagles.”
The Steelers ended up back at practice Monday to prepare for the Eagles in which Tomlin called an extra bonus day. JuJu acknowledged this is the NFL and the Steelers have to conform to Covid-19.
“Everybody knows that, like he said, it doesn't matter where who or when we are playing football this is the NFL, this is what you get," Smith-Schuster said. "We've got to conform to COVID-19.”