Diontae Johnson

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

Diontae Johnson News

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

Returns to limited practice

Johnson (knee) returned to practice Wednesday as a limited participant.

Analysis: While Johnson returned after missing every practice each week, QB Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral) and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (rib) both missed Wednesday's session. Roethlisberger likely will continue playing through his injury -- though perhaps not at a high level -- but Smith-Schuster's availability for Week 4 is a real question. Either way, the biggest issue for Johnson is his own knee injury, as he gets plenty of targets whenever he's healthy, even if the Steelers have other mouths to feed as well. An upgrade to full participation Thursday or Friday would allow fantasy managers to enter the weekend with confidence in Johnson.

Sep 29, 2021 1:19 PM EST

Scheduled to practice this week

Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Johnson (knee) is on track to practice this week, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Tomlin didn't go into detail regarding to what extent Johnson might practice this week or if he'll be on the field for the Steelers' first official Week 4 session Wednesday, but the fact that the wideout is expected to take reps in some capacity suggests that he's being viewed as day-to-day rather than week-to-week. How Johnson's injured knee looks in practice will likely determine whether he returns from a one-game absence to suit up Sunday in Green Bay. Ben Roethlisberger struggled mightily in the Week 3 loss to the Bengals without his top target at his disposal, as the quarterback tossed two picks and averaged a season-low 5.5 yards per attempt.

Sep 28, 2021 11:23 AM EST

Won't play Sunday

Johnson (knee) won't play Sunday against the Bengals.

Analysis: Johnson was unable to practice all week, so it remains to be seen if he'll have a chance to return to action in Week 4 versus Green Bay. In his confirmed absence this weekend, James Washington figures to step up as the Steelers' No. 3 receiver (behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool), with the team also potentially rolling out more multi-tight end looks Sunday.

Sep 24, 2021 12:13 PM EST

Idle for another practice

Johnson (knee) was a non-participant in Thursday's practice, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: With two missed practices to begin Week 3 prep, Johnson is seemingly trending in the wrong direction ahead of Sunday's game against the Bengals. The Steelers haven't officially ruled Johnson out for the contest, but he'll most likely be headed for an inactive status if he fails to log any practice activity Friday. Should Johnson sit out Sunday, James Washington would likely be the top candidate to see added snaps alongside starting receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool.

Sep 23, 2021 2:07 PM EST

Not practicing

Johnson (knee) didn't practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Injured on the final play of last week's game, Johnson is "looking better, not to be confused with great,"... in the words of coach Mike Tomlin (per Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com). The wideout thus appears shaky for Sunday's game against the Bengals, with Thursday and Friday representing his two chances to return to the practice field. James Washington should step up as the No. 3 receiver if Johnson is ruled out this week, with the Steelers potentially using more multi-TE looks as well.

Sep 22, 2021 1:17 PM EST

Showing improvement

Steelers head coach said Tuesday that Johnson's knee injury is "looking better, not to be confused with great," Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Though Johnson appears to have averted a major injury in Sunday's loss to the Raiders, his availability for this weekend's game against the Bengals remains very much up in the air. Before assessing Johnson's status for Week 3, the Steelers will see what kind of activity quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's top target is able to do in practices Wednesday through Friday. If Johnson is forced out of action against Cincinnati, James Washington would likely be the top candidate to claim for reps alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool in three-receiver formations.

Sep 21, 2021 9:28 AM EST

Sidesteps serious injury

Johnson (knee) did not sustain a serious injury during Sunday's 26-17 loss to the Raiders, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Johnson picked up a knee injury during the final play of Sunday's loss to the Raiders, but it's at least not a long-term issue. The third-year wideout hasn't yet been ruled out to suit up for Week 3's divisional matchup against Cincinnati, which is an encouraging sign. Johnson has drawn double-digit targets in each of Pittsburgh's first two games of the 2021 season, including nine catches for 105 yards on 12 looks versus Las Vegas.

Sep 20, 2021 9:44 AM EST

Hurts knee late Sunday

Coach Mike Tomlin said Johnson "hurt his knee" on the final play of Sunday's 26-17 loss to the Raiders and "is being evaluated," Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Johnson made his ninth and final catch for 11 yards when he sustained the injury. According to Field Yates of ESPN, Johnson needed assistance from two teammates to get off the field, so his status should be watched closely in the coming days as the Steelers get more clarity on the nature of the issue. If Johnson is sidelined for any length of time, James Washington figures to move up the depth chart and join Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster as Pittsburgh's top three wide receivers.

Sep 19, 2021 4:05 PM EST

Injured late in Sunday's game

Johnson was helped off the field after suffering an specified injury late in Sunday's 26-17 loss to the Raiders, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Johnson logged a 9/105/0 stat line on 12 targets in the contest, but now the focus turns to his status for next Sunday's game against the Bengals. If he's out or limited next weekend, James Washington would presumably see added WR snaps behind Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Sep 19, 2021 1:24 PM EST

Makes acrobatic TD catch in win

Johnson brought in five of 10 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' 23-16 win over the Bills on Sunday.

Analysis: None of the Steelers' receivers posted what could be rightfully termed fantasy-friendly efforts against a stingy Bills secondary, but Johnson arguably came the closest thanks to his highlight-reel juggling touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter to give the Steelers a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Despite leaving the game briefly in the first half due to what appeared to be a lower-body injury, Johnson unsurprisingly paced the team in receptions and targets as well -- a distinction he also often enjoyed last season. The third-year speedster will look to build on his serviceable start to the season in a favorable Week 2 home battle against the Raiders.

Sep 12, 2021 1:34 PM EST

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