JuJu Smith-Schuster Apologizes for Fumble vs. Saints: 'I Let Everyone Down'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 25, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 23: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster apologized and took responsibility for his team's 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday following a late fumble:

The Steelers were down three with 41 seconds left and the ball on the Saints 42-yard line. Smith-Schuster hauled in a quick pass and fought for extra yardage, but Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins caused a fumble recovered by New Orleans.

Although Smith-Schuster is upset, the loss is not on him. He caught 11 passes for 115 yards despite suffering a groin injury Thursday that forced him to leave practice. The 8-6-1 Steelers wouldn't be fighting for a playoff berth without his efforts, as the 22-year-old has hauled in 106 passes for 1,389 yards and six touchdowns.

Numerous athletes publicly supported Smith-Schuster following his tweet, including New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and New York Jets safety Jamal Adams:

Per an ESPN News Services report, Roethlisberger also went on The Cook & Joe Show show Monday and offered public support of Smith-Schuster following the loss.

Of note, Roethlisberger said the ex-USC star is "one of the main reasons we even had a chance to win that game and win so many games this year. He's a special young talent. I was heartbroken for him. That was one of the worst things about that loss, for me, was him."

The season is not over for Smith-Schuster and the Steelers, as they'll take the AFC North with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and a Cleveland Browns win over the Baltimore Ravens.

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