The Pittsburgh Steelers’ usually explosive passing attack has had a slow start in 2021, and they appear to be on the verge of a series of setbacks heading into Week 3.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss this weekend’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to a minor pectoral injury. On the final play of Pittsburgh’s loss to the Raiders on Sunday, Diontae Johnson tweaked his knee, casting doubt on his availability for the Steelers’ Week 3 divisional game. Although the injury isn’t expected to keep him out for long, head coach Mike Tomlin stated that the wide receiver isn’t fully recovered.
Tomlin confirmed that Johnson appears to be in better shape than he did after the injury on Sunday. He didn’t say if the 25-year-old would be available to play this weekend, though.
“He’s looking better, but not great,” Tomlin said, via PFF’s Doug Kyed … “As the week progresses, we’ll keep an eye on him and his health. ”
Per Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin:
QB Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a left pectoral injury.
On WR Diontae Johnson’s knee injury:
“He’s looking better, but not to be confused with great. We’ll follow him and his health as we get through the week.”
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) September 21, 2021
Johnson led the Steelers in every major receiving category through the first two games of the season, carrying on where he left off in 2020. He had nine catches for 105 yards against the Raiders, building on a strong showing (five receptions, 35 yards, and a touchdown) against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
The Steelers took Johnson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Toledo, and he has quickly exceeded expectations. As a returner, he was named to the All-Pro team in his rookie season and has been a key part of Pittsburgh’s passing attack for the past two seasons. Johnson’s absence would be felt heavily this weekend when the Steelers take on the Bengals. If he can’t play because of his injured knee, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and James Washington would be left to pick up the pieces. Before Pittsburgh takes on Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon,
Johnson’s status will be closely monitored. 004