PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson vowed to play on Sunday against the Rams last week as he prepared for his return from a hamstring injury. He went back home to Florida during the bye week, and on Wednesday, he remained steadfast in his belief that he would play against the Rams. Nothing has changed, and Johnson is scheduled to take the practice field for the first time since the injury.
“Yeah, I’m getting ready for practice right now today as we speak,” Johnson said. “So, I look forward to getting back out there and back into the offense. This has been a long process, but I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m excited to get back out there today.”
Diontae Johnson said he had to take care of some personal things and missed Monday’s practice. But Pittsburgh’s top receiver is now back. He hopes to get a lot of work in with quarterback Kenny Pickett throughout the week leading up to his return. The group has missed Johnson without his elite separation skills, and Mike Tomlin even noted that as much yesterday.
“I’m very excited, it’s been a long process,” Johnson said. “You know, I’ve been fighting to get back. Now, I’m ready to show them that I’m good for Sunday. I can’t wait.”
The Steelers opened his 21-day window on Monday. If Johnson is not activated off injured reserve by the time that window closes, he will be out for the season. Once activated, the Steelers must clear a roster spot to get Johnson on the team. The Steelers roster five receivers after coming into the year with six.
Before the Ravens game, he felt 85 percent but did not feel like he would have been able to give it his all, but now he feels 100 percent and ready to go as Los Angeles. The Steelers’ early season start has been frustrating for the entire team, as not only has the team failed to perform to expectation, but it has lost several key players due to injury, such as Johnson.