Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid began his Wednesday press conference ahead of the team’s Week 1 game with good news.
“Everybody will practice today, so we’re good there,” said Reid.
And in the team’s brief media look, all 53 players were accounted for, including defensive end Carlos Dunlap (Achilles inflammation), cornerback Rashad Fenton (groin) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had been dealing with knee soreness that cost him action in the team’s last two preseason games.
He’s obstructed by Mecole Hardman, but here’s a rep of JuJu Smith-Schuster going through individual work. Looked to be moving fine. Earlier, he noted he’s 100% after battling a minor knee issue the last couple of weeks. pic.twitter.com/9uZELARHEW
— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) September 7, 2022
“The knee’s great,” said Smith-Schuster before practice began. “Just a couple minor issues. Playing this game for six years, I’m not the young JuJu you know any more. I’m getting older. I’m more of an adult, and it takes time. It’s fully healed — and I just can’t wait to play.”
The “elder” 25-year-old, whose knee cost him four games in 2019, was out for 12 games in 2021 due to a shoulder injury. Injured in Week 5, Smith-Schuster went through a rigorous rehab regimen to put himself in a position to be available for the postseason.
“Man, I worked hard day in and day out all of last year,” remembered Smith Schuster. “When I got hurt in Week 4… [you] get down on [yourself] because you feel like you [need to be out] there to help the guys. I told myself that I’m going to work even harder just to get back to the playoffs.”
He accomplished just that, being healthy enough for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Wild Card matchup… in Kansas City.
God answered my prayers & I’ve recovered from my season-ending shoulder injury earlier than expected. I can’t believe I get another chance to take the field with this team and play in a playoff game to keep our season alive. Steelers Nation, #HereWeGo! pic.twitter.com/SdAKl3SrYx
—JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) January 15, 2022
Smith-Schuster had five catches for 26 yards in the 42-21 playoff loss.
“It’s funny that I came back for the playoffs, we played against the Chiefs,” smiled Smith-Schuster. “Fast forward, I’m here on this side of the ball, which I’m super [happy]. Like I said, I’m back 100%, can’t wait to play. It’s going to be a fun one.”
Full Wednesday injury designations will be available later today on ArrowheadPride.com.