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2023 NFL Draft

‘I Feel Great’: Darnell Washington Brushes Off Medical Concerns



Steelers TE Darnell Washington

PITTSBURGH — Darnell Washington is officially a Pittsburgh Steeler and it was after he fell all the way to No. 93. Now, if you told anyone that Washington could be there, it would have been shocking, but the reason he fell was apparently due to medicals.

However, when talking with the media, Washington shrugged off concerns. Washington slid down draft boards after injury issues cropped up. He had a broken foot in 2021, which required surgery. Then, he suffered an ankle injury in the national championship game, and there was also concern about a knee issue among NFL staff. Washington pointed to those knee issues as the one that teams seemed to be picking up on.

“You know, with my health, I feel great,” Washington said. “Some teams had concerns with knees because I’m taller and a bigger guy. They talked about some knee swelling. For me, I had no injury with my knees ever, knock on wood. I never tore anything in the knees. I had knee surgery on the right knee, but that was just cartilage that flaked up, they went in and cleaned it.”

However, now that he has landed in Pittsburgh, Washington is thankful to land with the Steelers, which is where he says he felt unconditional love from the outset. With no team willing to take a risk yet on him, he sees Pittsburgh as an opportunity to showcase to the NFL what he can do.

“You know, no team wanted to take a risk on me, a great player, but Pittsburgh, that’s exactly what they got, a great player,” Washington said.

For where it goes from here, Washington and Pat Freiermuth should create a fantastic one-two punch. It will depend on how his entire recovery goes, but it seems to this point that Darnell Washington feels good about his medicals.