Patriots WR JuJu Smith-Schuster ‘not frustrated’ with playing time originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots’ most notable addition at wide receiver during the offseason was signing JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency.
He was supposed to play a meaningful role in the offense and give starting quarterback Mac Jones a reliable target in the passing attack.
But he didn’t play much of a factor in New England’s 25-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. He tallied four receptions for 33 yards and zero touchdowns on seven targets. Most notably, he didn’t see snaps late in the fourth quarter when the Patriots had a chance to pull off an upset. Instead, the Patriots had a few sixth-round rookie wideouts on the field along with Kendrick Bourne and others.
In all, Smith-Schuster played 43 of 80 snaps against the Eagles. Is he upset about the lack of playing time?
“No, I’m not frustrated at all. I’ve been in this league way too long,” Smith-Schuster told reporters after Friday’s practice. “When the time is called, the opportunity is called for me, I’ll be ready.”
There was some concern over Smith-Schuster’s knee throughout the summer. He didn’t play in the preseason and didn’t look very explosive in training camp.
Smith-Schuster doesn’t seem concerned about his knee, though.
“Yeah, 100%. I think it’s 100%,” he said Friday. “I’ve been working on it every day. It’s nice to be here and find a nice routine, getting it stronger every single day to go out there and perform.”
The Patriots host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night in a pivotal Week 2 matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.