Diontae Johnson

Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #3
Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #3
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Diontae Johnson News

Finds end zone in losing effort

Johnson had five receptions (10 targets) for 34 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Steelers.

Analysis: Johnson finished first among all Pittsburgh receiving option with 10 targets even with JuJu Smith-Schuster returning for Ben Roethlisberger's swan song. The 24-year-old finished the regular season with team highs in receptions (107) and receiving yardage (1,161) while cashing in eight scores. Johnson was already usurping the veteran Smith-Schuster before the latter went down to injury earlier this year, but the Steelers' quarterback situation in 2022 will determine how much fantasy value Johnson will carry next season.

Jan 17, 2022 1:01 AM EST

10 targets despite early injury

Johnson secured seven of 10 targets for 51 yards in Sunday's 16-13 OT win over Baltimore.

Analysis: Johnson sustained a rib injury early in Sunday's contest, but he was able to play through the issue and led the Steelers in targets during the win. Although he had a crucial drop on third down late in overtime, the team still picked up the win to likely clinch a postseason berth. The 25-year-old led the Steelers' pass catchers while appearing in 16 of 17 games during the regular season and topped 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. In total, he secured 107 of 169 targets for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing five times for 53 yards.

Jan 9, 2022 2:04 PM EST

Suits up Sunday

Johnson is active for Sunday's game against the Ravens, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Johnson, who was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Week 18 action, is thus set to head the Steelers' wideout corps along with Chase Claypool and Ray-Ray McCloud. Meanwhile, James Washington is unavailable Sunday after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.

Jan 9, 2022 9:12 AM EST

Comes off COVID list

Johnson has been activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Steelers.

Analysis: The Steelers placed Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, but he's quickly been activated by the team, which sets the stage for the wideout to suit up Sunday against the Ravens. In the process, Johnson should head a Week 18 wide receiver corps that also includes Chase Claypool, Ray-Ray McCloud and James Washington.

Jan 7, 2022 12:13 PM EST

Lands on COVID list

Johnson has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Analysis: As a result, until Johnson is able to clear the NFL's COVID protocols, Chase Claypool, Ray-Ray McCloud and James Washington are the Steelers' top available options at wideout ahead of Sunday's regular-season finale against the Ravens.

Jan 6, 2022 8:11 AM EST

Scores in victory

Johnson caught 8 of 15 targets for 31 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 26-14 win over the Browns.

Analysis: Johnson led the Steelers in catches and looks his way, opening the scoring with a five-yard touchdown in the first quarter as well. Although his high involvement yielded little yardage, with his 3.9 yards per grab marking his lowest average in a game this season, Johnson's score gave him an end-zone trip in consecutive contests. He also maintained his streak of having at least five catches in all but one game this season. Heading into the last week of the campaign, Johnson will strive to finish strong versus a Ravens team he caught eight balls for 105 yards and two scores against earlier this season.

Jan 3, 2022 9:03 PM EST

Finds end zone late

Johnson caught six passes for 51 yards and one touchdown on nine targets against Kansas City on Sunday.

Analysis: The touchdown occurred late during garbage time in a game where the Steelers were pummeled 36-10, and Johnson lost a fumble without being touched earlier in the game, but the rougher points in his Sunday performance can be excused given the difficulty of the circumstances. Ben Roethlisberger couldn't get anything going against the Chiefs defense and Johnson had little hope as a result. Johnson's sky-high target rate gives him a good chance to come through again for his fantasy investors even if Roethlisberger struggles against Cleveland in Week 17. The wideout caught six passes for 98 yards on 13 targets against Cleveland in Week 8 this year.

Dec 26, 2021 5:26 PM EST

Held to 48 total yards

Johnson recorded five receptions on five targets for 38 yards in Sunday's 19-13 win over Tennessee. He added one rush for 10 yards.

Analysis: The Steelers offense didn't do much offensively in the victory, so Johnson was still the team's leading receiver despite the underwhelming numbers. He turned in only one reception for more than 10 yards, and his next biggest gain came on an end around late in the first quarter. Despite the underwhelming performance, Johnson's role in the offense is secure, as he has at least five receptions in nine consecutive games and his yardage total Sunday was his lowest since Week 1.

Dec 19, 2021 1:52 PM EST

Another productive showing in loss

Johnson secured five of 10 targets for 76 yards and caught a two-point conversion pass in the Steelers' 36-28 loss to the Vikings on Thursday night.

Analysis: Johnson led the Steelers in targets and checked in behind only Chase Claypool in receiving yardage. Johnson is now just 10 yards away from his first 1,000-yard campaign, and just seven catches shy of tying the career-best 88 he logged last season. With Thursday's reception and yardage totals serving as his floor in those categories over the last five games, he seemingly has a good chance of reaching both marks in a Week 15 battle against the Titans a week from Sunday.

Dec 9, 2021 9:54 PM EST

Reaches end zone twice

Johnson secured eight of his 11 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 20-19 win over Baltimore.

Analysis: Johnson continued to garner plenty of volume in Sunday's narrow victory, as he's now had double-digit targets in each of the last four games. Sunday's contest marked the first time this season that the 25-year-old reached the end zone multiple times, and his second touchdown came with 1:48 remaining in the game to help give Pittsburgh a seven-point lead. The 2019 third-rounder has topped 50 receiving yards in 10 of his first 11 appearances of the season, and he's hauled in 76 of 120 targets for 914 yards and six touchdowns. He'll have a very favorable matchup against the Vikings in Week 14.

Dec 5, 2021 5:02 PM EST

14 targets in losing effort

Johnson had nine receptions (14 targets) for 95 yards in Sunday's 41-10 loss to the Bengals.

Analysis: Johnson led all Steeler receiving options targets, receptions and yardage despite the overall disappointing performance. The 25-year-old has been a steady fantasy contributor while taking over as Pittsburgh's top receiving option this season, averaging a whopping 119 targets through 10 starts. The heavy usage keeps Johnson's fantasy floor high heading into an important Week 13 matchup against the Ravens.

Nov 28, 2021 2:45 PM EST

Leads team in all receiving cats

Johnson had seven receptions (13 targets) for 101 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 41-37 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: Johnson led all Steeler receiving options in production while garnering a whopping 13 targets for the second consecutive game. In fact, Ben Roethlisberger's favorite option has seen double-digit targets in seven of nine games this season. Pittsburgh should keep Johnson heavily involved next Sunday against the Bengals in what could shape up to be another shootout.

Nov 21, 2021 9:37 PM EST

Commands 13 targets

Johnson recorded seven receptions on 13 targets for 83 yards in Sunday's 16-16 tie against Detroit.

Analysis: Johnson narrowly beat out Ray-Ray McCloud as Mason Rudolph's favorite target Sunday to lead the team in receiving. He picked up big gains 39 and 20 yards, though the former ended with a crucial fumble that cost Pittsburgh a chance to kick a game-winning field goal in overtime. Though Johnson has only surpassed the century mark once this season, he's surpassed 70 receiving yards in six of his eight contests. He would benefit from the return of Ben Roethlisberger (illness) heading into a Week 11 matchup against the Chargers.

Nov 14, 2021 3:07 PM EST

Crucial gain late in win

Johnson caught five of six targets for 56 yards in Monday night's 29-27 win over the Bears.

Analysis: Johnson was held in check prior to making a huge 22-yard gain to put the Steelers in field-goal range on their final, game-winning drive. With the help of that catch, Johnson actually led or tied for Pittsburgh's lead in all major receiving categories, but it was rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth who scored twice. Following his late-game impact Monday, Johnson will now turn his attention toward a seemingly advantageous matchup versus the Lions.

Nov 8, 2021 9:02 PM EST

Leads receiving corps in win

Johnson caught six of 13 targets for 98 yards during Sunday's 15-10 win over the Browns.

Analysis: Johnson had most of his production on a 50-yard catch-and-run during the fourth quarter, which eclipsed the receiving yards of every other Pittsburgh pass catcher. It's the fifth time this season the 25-year-old has received double-digit targets, and he now has 40 receptions for 474 yards and three touchdowns through six games.

Oct 31, 2021 2:12 PM EST

Leads team in targets on SNF

Johnson caught nine of 13 targets for 71 yards in Sunday's 23-20 overtime win over Seattle.

Analysis: Johnson also added 25 yards on a beautifully drawn up end-around that almost got the receiver into the end zone. Last week's stat line (two receptions for 72 yards and a TD) was a bit of an anomaly volume-wise given the low total pass attempts, but Sunday's double-digit targets was a better representation of what kind of usage we could see from Johnson going forward now that Juju Smith-Schuster is on IR. The Steelers are entering their bye week, with a matchup against the Browns set for Week 8.

Oct 17, 2021 10:45 PM EST

Productive despite limited targets

Johnson secured both of his targets for 72 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-19 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: Johnson had been targeted at least 10 times in each of his first three appearances of 2021, but he saw fewer looks in Week 5 as the Steelers had a season-low 25 pass attempts. However, the 25-year-old hauled in a 50-yard touchdown early in the first quarter, which was his longest catch of the year. Johnson has brought in 25 of 37 targets for 305 yards and three touchdowns across his first four appearances this season.

Oct 10, 2021 2:01 PM EST

Catches TD in return

Johnson hauled in nine of 13 targets for 92 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Johnson missed last week's game with a knee injury but logged full practices Thursday and Friday and saw plenty of work against Green Bay with Chase Claypool (hamstring) sidelined. The 2019 third-rounder led the team in targets and receiving yards and recorded the only touchdown catch of the game. Johnson has had double-digit targets in each of his first three appearances of the year and will attempt to remain involved at home against the Broncos in Week 5.

Oct 3, 2021 5:18 PM EST

Ready to return Sunday

Johnson (knee) doesn't have a designation for Sunday's contest at Green Bay, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.

Analysis: After sitting out Week 3 due to a knee injury, Johnson managed full practices both Thursday and Friday, clearing him to return to action. Elsewhere in the receiving corps, JuJu Smith-Schuster built up from no activity Wednesday to all of it Friday and is good to suit up this weekend, while Chase Claypool (hamstring) now is the Steelers wide receiver with his availability in question. If the team opts to keep Claypool on the sideline Sunday, Johnson figures to be heavily involved in the passing game after totaling 22 targets in his two appearances so far this season.

Oct 1, 2021 11:59 AM EST

Logs full practice

Johnson (knee) returned to a full practice Thursday, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Johnson's full participation Thursday sets the stage for him to return to action Sunday against the Packers after sitting out the team's Week 3 contest. Meanwhile, Chase Claypool was added to the Steelers' Week 4 injury report after being limited by a hamstring issue Thursday, while JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) logged a limited session following a DNP on Wednesday. Look for Friday's final injury report to provide added clarity with regard to the health and availability of the trio heading into the weekend.

Sep 30, 2021 1:48 PM EST

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