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2 players ruled out for Steelers, George Pickens limited ahead of Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) warms up prior to the start of the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons on August 24th, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers released their final injury report ahead of Week 2’s Monday Night Football showdown against the Cleveland Browns. The team ruled out WR Diontae Johnson, who is expected to miss several weeks with a hamstring injury, as well as RB Anthony McFarland, managing a knee injury.

There were a number of other players on the injury report this week, including OL Chukwuma Okorafor (concussion) and James Daniels (ankle), TE Pat Freiermuth (chest) and DT Larry Ogunjobi (foot), but all of them were left off of the final injury report without an injury designation after practicing in full on Saturday.

The biggest surprise of Saturday’s report was the fact that WR George Pickens was limited, having been listed with a hamstring injury after previously practicing in full all week. The good news is that the team did not give him any final injury tag, such as “questionable” ahead of Monday Night Football, and they do have an extra day of rest to given the timing of their game, which is helpful.

Given Johnson’s absence and a new injury to Pickens, it seems likely that WRs Calvin Austin and Allen Robinson could see significant work in Week 2.

McFarland was also a surprise on the injury report this week, having had a career day as a kick returner in Week 1 — one of the team’s only bright spots against a suffocating San Francisco 49ers defense that stifled the Steelers on virtually every other front. Since being drafted in the fourth round back in 2020, McFarland has played just 15 total games, though most of that due to his position on the depth chart rather than due to injury.