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Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Unexpectedly Misses Practice



Steelers WR Diontae Johnson
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson against the Cincinnati Bengals, Nov. 26, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson unexpectedly missed Thursday after practicing in Wednesday’s session. While Calvin Austin III and Allen Robinson II returned after missing Wednesday’s session, Johnson was notably absent.

According to Joe Rutter, Johnson was sick and sent home. There is no nefarious intent behind that, so that should stop speculation on why he was not around. Instead, Pittsburgh hopes to have Johnson back on Friday once he is feeling better about himself.

Johnson regretted his lack of effort on Jaylen Warren’s fumble in Pittsburgh’s 16-10 win over the Bengals on Sunday. On Wednesday, Johnson got in front of his teammates to address the lack of effort, and he expressed that on film, it was naturally a bad look.

He still had a solid game but should have had an even better game. If the Steelers offense will work, Johnson is a crucial part of that equation.

Johnson expects to be in the starting lineup after expressing that extreme regret. He says his teammates did not have much of a reaction to what he said and that it was more about accountability and owning up to it in the locker room rather than doing anything else. If he could do it again, Johnson says he would jump on the football and let his teammates know it won’t happen again.

“They didn’t really say anything,” Johnson said. “It was about me owning up to my mistakes and letting them know it won’t happen again. Like I said, I didn’t know the play was still going. If I could make the play again, I would jump on the ball.”

Now, the team wants to move along and focus on the Arizona Cardinals, who have an offense that has weapons and firepower despite their 2-10 record. The Steelers would be wise not to overlook what is an aggressive team.