Fantasy Alert: Steelers' Diontae Johnson 'Ready to Go' Week 1 After Shoulder Injury

Erin WalshSeptember 9, 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

Fans and fantasy managers alike will be happy to know Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson is ready for the team's Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

"I’m back on track and I’m ready to go," Johnson, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, told reporters Friday.

Johnson suffered the shoulder injury during Pittsburgh's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 28. At the time, head coach Mike Tomlin said he probably could have gone back in the game if it were the regular season.

However, Johnson told reporters earlier this week that he couldn't have gone back in the game regardless, adding that he was unsure of his availability for the team's season opener against Cincinnati.

Brooke Pryor @bepryor

Diontae Johnson says he couldn’t have gone back in the preseason game after he injured his shoulder. <br><br>He says he feels like he’s on the right trajectory in his healing process but didn’t give a concrete update on his availability vs. Bengals

The Steelers selected Johnson in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Toledo.

He had a solid rookie season, catching 59 passes for 680 yards and five touchdowns in 16 games. He was even better in 2020, catching 88 passes for 923 yards and seven scores in 15 games.

The 26-year-old had a breakout 2021, catching 107 passes for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns in 16 games.

Johnson is expected to build upon that success in 2022 as one of Pittsburgh's top wide receivers following the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent.

Johnson highlights a receiving group that includes Chase Claypool, rookie George Pickens, Miles Boykin, Steven Sims and Gunner Olszewski.

Johnson only appeared in one game against the Bengals last season, but he was effective, catching nine passes for 95 yards on 14 targets. Considering he said he's ready to go, he'll be worth the start for fantasy managers on Sunday.