Diontae Johnson out for Steelers vs. Lions After Suffering Shoulder Injury

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 28, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 16: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) before an AFC wild card playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan 16, 2022 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson has been ruled out for the rest of Sunday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions after suffering a shoulder injury.

Johnson had a 38-yard reception in his only target of the game before the injury:


Can't throw it any better than this.<a href="https://twitter.com/Mtrubisky10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mtrubisky10</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/Juiceup__3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Juiceup__3</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a> <br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DETvsPIT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DETvsPIT</a> on CBS<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/rlWooatGHB">https://t.co/rlWooatGHB</a> <a href="https://t.co/6iWdPQ0rdR">pic.twitter.com/6iWdPQ0rdR</a>

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin later told the CBS broadcast that Johnson and T.J. Watt, who also left with a knee injury, could have possibly returned if it had been a regular-season game.

Johnson earned a Pro Bowl selection last year after totaling 107 catches for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns, all career highs.

Pittsburgh rewarded the wideout with a two-year extension worth $36.71 million.

Even with his role on the team secure, the Steelers chose to play Johnson and other starters during several preseason games while some other teams rested their stars. The 26-year-old had two catches for 33 yards in last Saturday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Steelers likely wanted to be at full strength to evaluate quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett, all of whom played in each of the first two preseason games. The downside is now having an injury to a key player ahead of Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

If Johnson is forced to miss any more time, Pittsburgh will likely turn to Chase Claypool and emerging rookie sensation George Pickens, who was drafted in the second round last April.