PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08: David Johnson #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts to break a tackle after catching a pass against the Cleveland Browns during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
There was a fairly interesting debate on the pages regarding the role of FB/TE David Johnson, and how that may affect FB Will Johnson and TE Leonard Pope.
A torn ACL, mentioned by Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette, in Pittsburgh's 24-23 loss at Philadelphia in the first week of the preseason ends that debate. Johnson, a restricted free agent in 2011 playing on a one-year contract, will miss this season.
It appears now as if Will Johnson is, at worst, the clear front-runner for the team's fullback position, which wasn't utilized exclusively in the first game. It's nearly a certainty the Steelers will kick the tires of a few veteran fullbacks if and when Johnson is formally placed on Injured Reserve.
New offensive coordinator Todd Haley varied the Steelers' formations in their first drive, a 16-play, 52 yard affair that resulted in a 46-yard Shaun Suisham field goal. David Johnson had a seven-yard catch on the drive, one of two catches he'd have before leaving the game in obvious pain in the second quarter.
It didn't appear as if Will Johnson's contributions helped much, as the Steelers' offensive line clearly was not in regular season form. At least the Steelers should hope it wasn't. Running backs were contested deep in the backfield, and never had a chance to get in rhythm.
We will have a full injury report later today when that news is confirmed