Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster wrote an apologetic message on social media Monday, one day after his fumble ended the Pittsburgh Steelers' final offensive possession in a 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"When I'm at my lowest, I'm not going to hide," Smith-Schuster wrote on Twitter. "I'm sorry. That loss was on me. I let everyone down, it won't happen again."
Smith-Schuster recorded a strong performance prior to putting the ball on the turf, collecting 11 receptions for 115 yards.
With the Steelers (8-5-1) trailing by three points, the 22-year-old Smith-Schuster fumbled the ball as he was being brought down by Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins at New Orleans' 42-yard line with 41 seconds remaining. Saints linebacker Demario Davis recovered the loose ball to seal the win.
"[Smith-Schuster] has been great all year," Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said. "He is the reason we are [productive]. In those situations, you just want to support him. It is kind of unfortunate, but he is a great player. We have all been through it before and it is something to learn from."
The loss dropped the Steelers behind the first-place Baltimore Ravens (9-6) in the AFC North. Pittsburgh hosts the Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) on Sunday while the Cleveland Browns (7-7-1) visit Baltimore. Both games are slated to begin at 4:25 p.m. ET.
When I’m at my lowest, I’m not going to hide. I’m sorry. That loss was on me. I let everyone down, it won’t happen again. pic.twitter.com/amLOGJxino— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 24, 2018
After a solid rookie campaign in which he posted 58 catches for 917 yards and seven touchdowns, Smith-Schuster has been an explosive weapon opposite Brown this season.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Smith-Schuster leads the Steelers in both catches (106) and receiving yards (1,389) to go along with six touchdown receptions. He has eight 100-yard games on the season, including four in the past six contests.