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Diontae Johnson Explains Celebration after Late Touchdown



Steelers WR Diontae Johnson

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson got a lot of flak on social media for celebrating after his touchdown catch that made it 24-10 with 4:25 remaining in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It’s only Johnson’s second touchdown since the 2021 playoffs. It was a garbage time touchdown, so it was alarming to many that Johnson felt elated.

Johnson explained his reaction to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko after the game. Batko asked if he felt relieved to score or if he felt that the Steelers could score three more touchdowns at the end.

“I’m just playing to the whistle. I am just playing. Just because we’re down, I’m not just going to give up,” Johnson said. “I am just trying to show my efforts out there and play until the end of the game. You just got to keep on trying to find something. That’s all we can do.”

Below is the clip of Johnson dancing and celebrating with George Pickens after his touchdown late in the fourth quarter with the Steelers trailing by two possessions. Play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan of CBS even said, “They’re still down 24-9, they can celebrate all they want.”

Last year, Johnson set the NFL record for most receptions (86) without a touchdown catch. He caught his first touchdown in 655 days on Nov. 2 in the Steelers’ 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football.

“655 days since I’ve scored. I’m happy I was there to get in the end zone today,” Johnson said. “I saw it on Twitter today. I was like, really? It’s been that long?”

On the season, Johnson has 34 receptions for 418 yards (12.3 average) and two touchdowns. Johnson suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, which sidelined him for four games. He was activated off injured reserve on Oct. 21.