The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed inside linebacker Buddy Johnson on the injured reserve list, the team announced on Friday, likely ending his 2021 season.
Johnson did not practice at all in the week leading up to the team’s Week 18 game against the Baltimore Ravens, and was ruled out for the game. He had also missed the team’s two previous games with a foot injury.
Johnson must miss at least three games while on injured reserve, so he will not be able to return to the active roster this season unless the Steelers make it to the AFC Championship Game.
A fourth-round pick out of Texas A&M, Johnson’s rookie season will end without much fanfare. He played in just four games and recorded a total of two tackles while consistently being slotted sixth on the team’s depth chart at outside linebacker behind Devin Bush, Joe Schobert, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen and Ulysees Gilbert III.
Spillane and Allen are restricted free agents and Schobert is a potential salary cap casualty, so Johnson could see a larger role in his second season with the team.