JuJu Smith-Schuster exits practice early with groin injury |

JuJu Smith-Schuster exits practice early with groin injury

Joe Rutter
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) plays against the New England Patriots in an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Pittsburgh.

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was added to the Pittsburgh Steelers injury report Thursday when he left practice early with a groin injury.

Smith-Schuster was listed as a limited participant in practice.

The Steelers will update Smith-Schuster’s availability for their game Sunday in New Orleans after their final practice of the week Friday afternoon.

If Smith-Schuster is unable to play, rookie James Washington likely would move into a starting role opposite All-Pro Antonio Brown. Smith-Schuster leads the AFC with 95 receptions, and he has a team-high 1,274 yards.

Washington had three catches for a team-high 65 yards last Sunday in the Steelers’ 17-10 win against New England.

“I expect James to keep improving every week,” offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said Thursday. “Now you get a little taste of it and you can see the excitement in his eyes.”

Running back James Conner did not practice for a second day in a row because of a high ankle sprain, increasing the likelihood he will miss a third consecutive game.

Outside linebacker Bud Dupree (knee) and strong safety Terrell Edmunds (concussion) were full practice participants. Edmunds was limited Wednesday, and Dupree did not practice.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey each returned to practice after getting a veteran day off Wednesday.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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