The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially activated wide receiver Diontae Johnson from the injured reserve list, the team announced on Saturday. Johnson will return to the lineup when the team takes to the field against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Johnson had been on IR since Sept. 18 after suffering a right hamstring injury early in the second half of the season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Johnson was designated to return from IR this week and was listed as a full participant in all three practice sessions.
The Steelers passing offense struggled without the presence of its top receiver. Johnson led the team in targets (147), receptions (86), receiving yards (882) and first-down catches (45) in 2022, though he was notably held without a touchdown catch.
“You’re bringing back a guy like Diontae and his route-running capability,” offensive coordinator Matt Canada said on Thursday. “So, you talk about the passing game, just starting there, and it’s going to change a little bit. You’ve got some really good weapons coming out there, and then you’ve got a couple of guys up front getting healthy.”
The Steelers also appear set to get left tackle Dan Moore Jr. and right guard James Daniels back from injury, while tight end Pat Freiermuth suffered a setback in his return from a hamstring injury and might be out a while.
The team cleared room for Johnson on the 53-man roster by releasing veteran wide receiver and kick returner Gunner Olszewski. The club will have five wide receivers available for Sunday’s game against the Rams: Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson II, Calvin Austin III and Miles Boykin.
Johnson was the team’s third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. His four missed games due to injury is a career high. He has played at least 15 games in each of his previous four seasons.