The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 12, but the recently-signed Deon Cain has a chance to fill the void left behind.
Week 11 was wild for the Pittsburgh Steelers, from the brawl that overshadowed their game against the Cleveland Browns to losing both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson to injuries, Pittsburgh should be happy to put last week behind them. Unfortunately, one of the injuries suffered against Cleveland looks like it’s going to be a problem in Week 12 as Smith-Schuster, the Steelers No. 1 receiver, is going to miss this week’s game.
Even during a relatively quiet season for him, Smith-Schuster is a crucial part of the Steelers offense and his absence puts the pressure on the Steelers depth receivers. Although Johnson will return for Week 12 and James Washington remains a major part of the offense, it’s one recently-signed, underrated player that may stand out. Deon Cain, a sixth-round pick in 2018 by the Indianapolis Colts, has a chance to make a big impact.
Though he didn’t produce much with the Colts, Cain has a golden opportunity to emerge for the Steelers. This is a team that needs receiver depth, especially with Smith-Schuster out. Cain can provide that depth, and has the potential to do so much more. It starts with his deep speed. Cain’s 4.4 speed allows him to take the top off a defense, and his ability to change directions shows he has the potential to develop into an excellent route-runner. The drops he had earlier in the season are troublesome, but they were also the result of a lack of focus. The talent is there for him to fix his issues and become a surprise contributor right away.
Against a terrible Cincinnati Bengals team, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a great opportunity to finally break out on offense and Deon Cain could play a huge role. Losing Smith-Schuster hurts, but Cain has the potential to prove himself as a legitimate weapon if he takes advantage of this opportunity.