Are we playing it safe with JuJu?
The Chiefs were happy to see JuJu Smith-Schuster back on the field of play in Week 12, and he remains a very important part of the team’s offense. That said, the Chiefs were clearly also going to play it safe with his snap count in his first game back from injury after spending time in the team’s concussion protocol.
Smith-Schuster went down back in the Chiefs’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10 with a head injury. It not only kept him from returning in that game but he remained out of the team’s win over the Chargers in Week 11. Now in Week 12, Smith-Schuster is clearly better, but the Chiefs didn’t force anything his way against an overmatched Rams team.
It’s quite possible that if the opponent were tougher, Smith-Schuster would have been featured more. However, the Chiefs were able to generate enough production and points to get the job done while largely keeping Smith-Schuster upright and safe for the stretch run ahead.
For those who want to see Smith-Schuster back in his role as offensive pillar, the Chiefs will need him there sooner than later with a trip to play the Cincinnati Bengals next week. For now, however, the Chiefs could afford to bring him along slowly and that led to only a few targets for their top receiver.