JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a three-year deal with the New England Patriots after he won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs.
And he may not be 100% healthy entering the 2023 season.
A report Monday shed light on concerns about the veteran wide receiver’s knee. He entered OTAs reportedly dealing with a lingering knee issue from the 2022 season.
“JuJu Smith-Schuster’s knee is a mess, and that thing could explode at any point. And so you almost have to keep an extra receiver because of that,” NFL insider Albert Breer said on NBC Sports Boston last week.
Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard commented on the Patriots’ depth if Smith-Schuster’s injury becomes more than just something he’s forced to deal with.
“If JuJu is healthy, they have three — JuJu, DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne. They really like Demario Douglas. They really like Kayshon Boutte,” he said. “Tyquan Thornton, I don’t know if he’s going to have to go on IR or not, but I think they keep six as of right now.
“You lose one of the top three, and all of a sudden, two rookies and a second-round pick who hasn’t played or practiced at all is in there.”
Smith-Schuster downplayed the report, saying he didn’t think his knee was “a ticking time bomb.”
“If anything, it’s something that’s getting stronger every day,” he said, via Steeler Nation.
Smith-Schuster is listed as a starter on the Patriots’ unofficial depth chart.
In his lone season with the Chiefs, he had 78 catches for 933 yards and three touchdowns.