PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson did not practice during the team’s Wednesday practice with a thumb injury he suffered during the team’s 23-19 win over the Green Bay Packers. Head coach Mike Tomlin said immediately following the win that the injury occurred at some point in the game but that Johnson returned to the game.
He did not mention Johnson in his Tuesday press conference while running down injuries, but Johnson was nowhere to be found on Wednesday. It is unknown if the injury is severe enough to warrant concern, but Johnson did speak to the media on Wednesday morning, meaning there is a good chance this is just a minor ailment.
Johnson has missed time this season already with a hamstring injury. If he can play and Pat Freiermuth returns, it will be the first time Pittsburgh’s cache of weapons will be on the same football field together since Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers. Since returning from his hamstring injury, Johnson has made several plays that have helped catapult Pittsburgh to victory. The Steelers will hope the injury is minor enough not to worry about. But if he cannot go, Miles Boykin and Calvin Austin III would be set for more action.
Pittsburgh has three wide receivers, Dez Fitzpatrick, Denzel Mims, and Deuce Watts, on their practice squad and those healthy on the active roster. Two weeks ago, Johnson broke his touchdown drought. Now, he hopes to stay healthy as Pittsburgh heads to Cleveland to face a roster with plenty of talent. Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome make up one of the better cornerback duos in football, while the defensive line, led by Myles Garrett, remains one of the best. If Kenny Pickett and the offense want to get things going through the air, Johnson is imperative to that effort.