Smith-Schuster and Roethlisberger have been teammates since the wide receiver came into the league in 2017. He’s put up one Pro Bowl season for Pittsburgh but has been sidelined this year after only five games because of an injury. Unable to play, the wide receiver wrote a nice message for Roethlisberger.
"If tonight is the last ride at home, I have to say thank you to one of the best QBs in NFL History for welcoming me into this league, helping me grow, and being there for me in every step of my career. It’s been an honor to catch passes and take the field with you," he wrote.
"Thank you, 7!"
The Steelers star and two-time Super Bowl champion indicated last week that Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns could be his final home game if the team doesn’t make the playoffs.
"I don’t ever speak in definites or guarantees — that’s just not what I ever done or who I am. But looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing to this could be it. Regular season that is. I know we still have a chance to potentially get a playoff game there if things fall our way, and we take care of business, and things have to happen, but in the grand scheme of things, in terms of regular season, signs are pointing that way. This could be it," he said.
Roethlisberger was in the same 2004 draft class as Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers and is the last quarterback standing from that draft.
The 39-year-old has not had a particularly overwhelming season. He has 3,373 passing yards, 20 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.
The Steelers have had an up and down season. The defense has been good at times but is in the middle of the road when it comes to points and yards allowed. The offense hasn’t been that much better with Roethlisberger under center. The team was 22nd in points scored and 22nd in yards gained before the start of Week 17.
Pittsburgh is 7-7-1 but isn’t out of playoff contention just yet. There are two playoff spots left and five teams still in contention. Pittsburgh needs to beat the Browns to keep it that way.