Diontae Johnson

Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #3
Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #3

Diontae Johnson News

Paces pass catchers in loss

Johnson secured eight of 11 targets for 84 yards and recovered a fumble in the Steelers' 29-17 loss to the Browns on Thursday night.

Analysis: Johnson comfortably paced the Steelers across the board in receptions, receiving yards and targets while also setting new season highs in each category. The third-year wideout has encouragingly maintained a hefty workload despite the change at quarterback for the Steelers, as Johnson now has 33 targets through three games. He'll look to build on Thursday's successful statistical effort in a Week 4 home matchup against the Jets a week from Sunday.

Sep 22, 2022 8:54 PM EST

Draws 10 targets in Week 2

Johnson hauled in six of 10 targets for 57 yards during Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Patriots.

Analysis: Johnson saw plenty of deep looks during Sunday's matchup, but he didn't have a catch longer than 17 yards and was unable to reach the end zone during the low-scoring game. The 2019 third-rounder averaged over 10 yards per reception in each of his first three professional seasons, but he's been held to just 8.2 yards per catch over his first two games catching passes from Mitch Trubisky. However, it's been encouraging to see Johnson's target share remain high early in the 2022 campaign.

Sep 18, 2022 1:21 PM EST

Grinds out seven catches

Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards on 12 targets against Cincinnati on Sunday.

Analysis: Quarterback Mitch Trubisky was probably, somehow, even worse than expected as he completed 21-of-38 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown. As inefficient as Johnson's box score might look at a glance, it's arguably a slight miracle that he was able to catch those seven passes with such chaotic quarterback play. It's difficult to imagine Trubisky starting all year if he continues to play like this, but whoever is at quarterback for Pittsburgh will frequently throw the ball in Johnson's direction.

Sep 11, 2022 3:05 PM EST

Cleared for Sunday

Johnson (shoulder) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game against Cincinnati, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: He may have to play through discomfort after spraining his shoulder in Pittsburgh's preseason finale, but Johnson will be out there Sunday after closing out the week with a full practice Friday. He's the favorite to lead Pittsburgh in targets any time he plays, though there's arguably more competition this year with WR Chase Claypool and TE Pat Freirmuth a year older and rookie wideout George Pickens expected to play a lot. Johnson caught nine of 14 targets for 95 yards in his one game against the Bengals last season.

Sep 9, 2022 12:02 PM EST

Expects to play Sunday

Johnson (shoulder) noted that he was able to practice fully Friday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: The wideout also indicated that he'll be good to go Sunday against the Bengals, while acknowledging that he may have to manage some pain in the process. Friday's final injury report will clarify whether Johnson heads into the weekend officially listed as questionable or minus a Week 1 injury designation.

Sep 9, 2022 10:02 AM EST

Stays limited in practice

Johnson (shoulder) remained a limited participant in practice Thursday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: The Steelers' practice report also indicates that Johnson battled cramps Thursday, but his lingering shoulder injury -- which also limited his activity Wednesday -- is the prevailing concern as Sunday's season opener in Cincinnati approaches. For what it's worth, fellow wideout Chase Claypool told Pryor before Thursday's session that he expects Johnson to play Week 1. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Matt Canada noted that he's counting on Johnson being ready to go Sunday, though the Steelers have a plan in place if the newly-extended wideout can't avoid the inactive list or happens to be limited, per Alan Saunders of PittsburghSportsNow.com. One way or the other, the Steelers should have a better idea regarding Johnson's availability for the opener based on what he's able to do in the team's final practice of the week Friday.

Sep 8, 2022 1:16 PM EST

Limited in practice

Johnson (shoulder) was a limited practice participant Wednesday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Johnson didn't exactly sound confident talking to reporters after practice, saying he "tried to do everything my arm allowed me to do" and adding that he was doing "literally everything" in his power to be available for the season opener against Cincinnati on Sunday, per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He injured his shoulder Aug. 28 in Pittsburgh's preseason finale, exactly two weeks before the first game that counts. If Johnson doesn't play this weekend, the Steelers will turn to Gunner Olszewski, Steven Sims or Miles Boykin as their third receiver behind Chase Claypool and George Pickens.

Sep 7, 2022 1:00 PM EST

Expected to be ready Week 1

Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he's optimistic Johnson (shoulder) will be available Week 1 against the Bengals, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.

Analysis: Johnson injured his shoulder while catching a deep ball in double coverage during the Steelers' final preseason game Sunday evening. He didn't return to the exhibition and now figures to miss some practice time, but Tomlin is backing the initial sentiment that both Johnson and OLB T.J. Watt (knee) avoided serious injuries.

Aug 30, 2022 11:26 AM EST

Injury likely isn't serious

Coach Mike Tomlin said during a halftime interview on the CBS broadcast that the shoulder injury suffered by Johnson during Sunday's preseason contest versus the Lions shouldn't be a long-term issue, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Johnson got hurt in the process of hauling in a deep ball down the left sideline from Mitch Trubisky when two Detroit defenders took him to the ground. While Johnson was quickly ruled out of the contest, the decision appears to have been one made because it's exhibition season. Still, his status in practice will be one to watch in advance of Week 1, when the Steelers pay visit to the Bengals on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Aug 28, 2022 3:42 PM EST

Tending to shoulder injury

Johnson won't return to Sunday's preseason contest against the Lions due to a shoulder injury, Alan Saunders of PittsburghSportsNow.com reports.

Analysis: Johnson was targeted just one time before his departure, as he hauled in a deep ball from Mitch Trubisky don't the left sideline for a 38-yard gain. In the process, Johnson's upper body seemed to have an awkward landing as he was tackle by a pair of Detroit defenders. The fourth-year wide receiver proceeded to visit the sideline tent before going to the locker room, at which point he was ruled out. The quick decision may have been a product of it being the preseason, but Johnson's status now bears watching in advance of the Steelers' Week 1 road matchup with the Bengals on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Aug 28, 2022 2:19 PM EST

First preseason action

Johnson recorded two receptions on four targets for 33 yards in Saturday's preseason win over the Jaguars.

Analysis: Johnson played throughout the first half, catching passes from Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. He found the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Pickett, but the touchdown was nullified by offsetting penalties. Regardless of who is under center for the Steelers in Week 1, Johnson will command a significant share of the targets.

Aug 20, 2022 9:56 PM EST

Practicing again

Johnson (hip) practiced Tuesday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: With back-to-back practices under his belt, Johnson appears to have moved past the hip flexor that kept him out for about a week. He could even make an appearance in Saturday's preseason game at Jacksonville if the Steelers play their top guys.

Aug 16, 2022 11:52 AM EST

Returns to practice Monday

Johnson (hip) participated in Monday's practice session, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Analysis: Johnson dialed down his participation in practice over the last week due to a hip flexor injury, and he was kept off the field for Saturday's preseason opener against Seattle. It's not clear whether Johnson had any limitations Monday, but he said that he's been getting daily reps and going through a routine. He anticipates getting some snaps during Saturday's preseason matchup against the Jaguars. "I'm sure Coach T is going to play me a little this week or next week," Johnson said. "I'm going to be ready to get my feet wet and get ready for Sept. 11." In spite of his limitations over the last week, it seems like his lack of usage has mainly been a precautionary measure.

Aug 15, 2022 8:26 PM EST

Absent from preseason win

Johnson (hip) didn't play during the Steelers' 32-25 preseason win over the Seahawks on Saturday.

Analysis: Johnson and Chase Claypool (shoulder) warmed up in full uniform prior to Saturday's matchup, but both receivers were held out. Johnson landed a two-year extension with the Steelers in early August but has dealt with a hip flexor injury this week. It's not yet clear whether Johnson will take the field for the Steelers' final two preseason matchups, but he'll serve as the team's top receiving option if he's healthy to begin the regular season.

Aug 13, 2022 8:29 PM EST

Managing hip issue

Johnson (hip) was present for Thursday's practice, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: That said, Pryor notes that Johnson was sporting shoulder pads but no leg pads Thursday, which suggests that he's still working his way back from a hip flexor. In that context, Johnson appears unlikely to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Seahawks.

Aug 11, 2022 1:26 PM EST

Tending to hip injury

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Monday that Johnson is dealing with a hip flexor injury, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Tomlin didn't go into detail regarding the severity of Johnson's injury, but given his status as an established starter, the 26-year-old wideout is unlikely to play in Saturday's preseason opener against the Seahawks even if he's able to quickly move past the issue. After recently signing a two-year, $39.5 million extension with the Steelers, Johnson will be locked in as a top target for whichever quarterback emerges as the team's Week 1 starter.

Aug 8, 2022 1:54 PM EST

Gets two-year extension

Johnson has agreed to a two-year extension with the Steelers that is reportedly worth up to $39.5 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Analysis: Per the report, Johnson's new deal with Pittsburgh includes $27 million guaranteed. With that, the 2019 third-rounder, who racked up 107 catches (on 169 targets) for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns in 16 games last season, is presumably set to resume practicing fully with his teammates in short order. This coming season, the 26-year-old is set to maintain his standing as the Steelers' top option in a wideout corps that also includes fellow returnee Chase Claypool as well as rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin. While the team's Week 1 starting QB has yet to be named, regardless of who gets the assignment, Johnson figures to continue to see a steady flow of targets in 2022.

Aug 4, 2022 9:38 AM EST

Still in talks for new contract

GM Omar Khan said Tuesday that the Steelers are in talks with Johnson's representatives.

Analysis: Johnson has been a "hold-in" through the first week of training camp, joining his teammates on the field but then watching team drills from the side. It seems both sides expect an agreement to be reached before Week 1, though the Steelers haven't exactly been known for generosity in contract negotiations with top players. Johnson, a 2019 third-round pick, is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

Aug 2, 2022 1:02 PM EST

Not doing team drills

Johnson was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, sitting out team drills as he enters the final year of his contract, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Analysis: A report in early July suggested the Steelers weren't planning to extend Johnson, who may thus be hesitant to take part in full-team drills at training camp. Coach Mike Tomlin said he doesn't think it's a big deal, and it's possible a new contract is around the corner despite the report from a few weeks ago.

Jul 27, 2022 1:25 PM EST

Likely won't extend with Steelers

Johnson isn't likely to get a significant contract offer from the Steelers prior to becoming a free agent following the 2022 season, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: The Steelers have a tendency for not overpaying for wide receivers, but Johnson should command a massive contract in free agency following the 2022 season. The 26-year-old has had a massive target share over the last two seasons, as he's totaled 313 targets during that time. He cut down on drops in 2021 and had a career-best season, securing 107 of 169 targets for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns. Johnson will be catching passes from a new quarterback in 2022 after Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement, and Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett seem to be the frontrunners to start under center to begin the regular season. JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud all left the Steelers during the offseason, but Johnson will still compete for targets with veteran Chase Claypool and rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin.

Jul 6, 2022 10:37 AM EST

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