Is Smith-Schuster's knee really ‘a mess'? Patriots WR reacts to report

Is Smith-Schuster's knee really ‘a mess'? Patriots WR reacts to report originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

There are concerns about JuJu Smith-Schuster's knee entering the 2023 season. As you might expect, Smith-Schuster believes those concerns are overblown.

During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston's Sports Sunday on Aug. 28, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer pointed out the "underrated storyline" that Smith-Schuster's knee is "a mess" and "could explode at any point," which could motivate the Patriots to keep additional wide receivers on their roster.

Breer's comments made their way to Smith-Schuster, who shared his side of the story to Mass Live's Karen Guregian on Wednesday.

"I don’t think my knee is a ticking time bomb,” Smith-Schuster told Guregian. “If anything, it’s something that’s getting stronger every day."

While Smith-Schuster only missed one game last season, Breer noted earlier this month that the Kansas City Chiefs were concerned he wouldn't be able to play in Super Bowl LVII, and that his knee injury was part of reason why they didn't extend to re-sign him in 2023 free agency.

"I talked to people in Kansas City -- they thought his knees were so bad that he wasn't going to be able to play in the Super Bowl," Breer said on Sports Sunday on Aug. 13. "He could barely move around the week of the Super Bowl, and it's one of the reasons why they weren't willing to go very far with him financially."

Smith-Schuster acknowledged that he "couldn't walk for a couple days" after the AFC Championship Game due to soreness in his knee and "didn't practice until a couple days before the Super Bowl." He also revealed he had "clean-up" surgery after the season and experienced swelling in his knee during a long flight to Japan, both of which caused him to miss Patriots organized team activities and minicamp.

"From the clean up surgery, and traveling to Japan after the Super Bowl, I needed some time,” he said. “There was some swelling after a six-hour flight, but it’s good now. It feels great. I haven’t missed practice since (training camp started).”

Smith-Schuster does appear fully healthy entering the season and could be the Patriots' No. 1 wide receiver alongside fellow veterans Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker. His knee certainly is worth monitoring, but the 26-year-old dismissed Breer's intel as a reporter "trying to find a story ... that's how the world works, right?"