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Smith-Schuster corralled the ball and turned up field, running toward the sideline and the first-down marker. Just before he reached the marker, two Bengals defenders stepped up to engage. But Smith-Schuster lowered his helmet ever so slightly, secured the ball and ran right through them, picking up the first down.
Two plays later, the Steelers sealed the win with a Chase Claypool touchdown, giving them a four-score lead and an early exit for Roethlisberger and the first-team offense.
Known more for his splash plays and viral social media presence before this season, Smith-Schuster, 23, is making his mark this year with a physicality and toughness that has made him Roethlisberger’s go-to guy on possession downs.
And, it might be what keeps him in Pittsburgh