The Pittsburgh Steelers dealt with a number of injuries during the Week 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. With two players, Devin Bush and Joe Haden, inactive after suffering injuries in practice on Friday, the Steelers lost nose tackle Tyson Alualu on the first defensive drive as well as All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt prior to halftime.
With the serious injuries occurring on the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers offense did not lose any players due to injury throughout the game. That is, until the final play with only 0:20 remaining in a nine-point game.
Rather than just wave the white flag, the Pittsburgh Steelers ran a play to close out their game against the Raiders at Heinz Field. The result of the play was an 11-yard gain by wide receiver Diontae Johnson as Ben Rothlisberger connected with a pass as Johnson was crossing the field and he sped towards the sideline. Unfortunately, as Johnson was being taken down he suffered an injury in which head coach Mike Tomlin had not been given any update after the game.
There were some who speculated the Steelers wide receiver could have sustained a serious knee injury. Luckily, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported on Monday that Johnson did not sustain a serious injury which would but in jeopardy his entire 2021 season.
Although Johnson may or may not be available this week, the fact that the discussion is not about any type of structural damage to a point where surgery is needed is fantastic news. Even if Johnson is unable to take the field in the coming weeks, the fact that he should be available long-term is encouraging.
For the 2021 season, Johnson has 14 receptions on 22 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown. The 11-yard reception to finish the game in Week 2 put Johnson over the 100-yard mark and is the only Steelers’ receiver to do so through the first two weeks of the 2021 NFL season.
Having Diontae Johnson available is encouraging to a struggling Steelers offense which has only produced a total of 33 points in two games. As the Steelers look to improve their offensive output, having all of their players available will be one helpful step in the growing process.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, player updates, and injury reports as the Steelers move forward to prepare to take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday at Heinz Field.