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Steelers Rumors: Diontae Johnson Avoids 'Serious Injury'; Status vs. Bengals TBD

Doric SamSeptember 20, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Durisko

The Pittsburgh Steelers can breathe a sigh of relief.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported Monday wide receiver Diontae Johnson did not suffer a serious injury and is not expected to be out long-term. Johnson had to be helped off the field towards the end of Sunday's game against the Raiders, which Pittsburgh lost 27-16.

According to Garafolo, Johnson's status for next Sunday's game vs the Bengals is yet to be determined.

Johnson's injury came on the final play of the game with Las Vegas already having the win in hand. He clutched his knee and could not walk off the field without help from trainers and teammates.

After his nine-catch, 105-yard performance against the Raiders, Johnson currently leads the Steelers with 14 receptions and 141 yards through the first two games of the season. The third-year receiver caught a touchdown in Pittsburgh's Week 1 win over the Bills. He also briefly exited that game in the first half with an apparent knee injury.

Johnson has emerged as a top target of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with 22 targets in two games, including 12 against the Raiders. He also has yet to drop a pass this season after leading the NFL with 16 drops in 2020.

If Johnson were to miss time, Pittsburgh has a deep receiving corps that includes JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, James Washington and tight end Eric Ebron. Each of them would likely see a boost in their target share with Johnson out of the lineup. Rookie running back Najee Harris also would likely contribute more in the passing game, as he is the only player besides Johnson to record a receiving touchdown so far this year.

Johnson enjoyed the best year of his career in 2020 when he led the Steelers with 88 receptions and 923 receiving yards and ranked second on the team with seven touchdowns. 

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