JuJu Smith-Schuster gives conflicting statements about injury since Patriots arrival

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

When Bill Belichick decided to forgo re-signing Jakobi Meyers to a long-term contract in favor of signing JuJu Smith-Schuster, it was met with backlash and concern. Meyers had become a fan favorite and staple within the offense, seemingly earning his spot atop the depth chart. Smith-Schuster was coming off an injury-riddled season with a questionable prognosis.

Once he arrived in New England, his knee was the main talking point, but he was quick to assure the fans and the media that it was not a problem. Even when he wasn't an early fixture of the offense, he reiterated that he was good to go and proclaimed his knee was 100%.

"Yeah, 100 percent. I think it’s 100 percent. I’ve been working on it every day. It’s nice being here, find a nice routine, get in with the trainer every single day to go out there to perform."

On top of the worries regarding his health, there were also many question marks regarding Smith-Schuster's production, as he was coming from an offense led by Patrick Mahomes and now with a team under the instruction of an already struggling Mac Jones.

The 2023 season ended up being an absolute disaster, mainly offensively, and Smith-Schuster was one of the players who was unable to fully integrate into the weekly game plan. Questions arose because of it, particularly about his injured knee, which seemed to be the cause of his eventual placement on injured reserve to end the season.

It prompted many to refer back to his comments about being 100% before and during the season, which seemed more questionable than ever. It's now being brought up again a year later as Smith-Schuster is entering his second season with the Patriots and repeating the same assurances regarding his injuries.

JuJu Smith-Schuster provides conflicting reports about injury since Patriots arrival

The Patriots had their first OTAs practice earlier this week and, of course, the receiver was questioned about his knee. Because of his contract and his career as a formidable receiver, his usage during the upcoming season will be crucial and likely dependent on his health.

Like he claimed last summer, Smith-Schuster said his knee was back to 100% while admitting it was closer to half that throughout the 2023 season.

Although it's great news that his body has recovered from a nagging injury, it's a bit concerning hearing him retract his previous comments about the severity of his injury. It makes it easy to question the truthfulness of his current status.

Hopefully, it won't be a problem if he remains with the team for the upcoming season. The offense needs all the help it can get, and if he is in good health, he could be a solid weapon for Jacoby Brissett or Drake Maye.