Is Diontae Johnson playing this week? Latest Steelers vs. Browns injury update

The Steelers will be looking to bounce back against the Browns on Monday Night Football. Will Diontae Johnson's hamstring be healthy enough to let him play?
Aug 19, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18)
Aug 19, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The season got off to an extremely rough start for the Pittsburgh Steelers — a 30-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, just 239 yards of total offense and starting wide receiver Diontae Johnson suffering a hamstring injury that could keep him off the field for a while.

The Steelers are counting on a big leap from second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett this season and invested significant resources in upgrading the offensive line in front of him and adding weapons like Allen Robinson II and Darnell Washington.

But even with those upgrades they still need a healthy complement of weapons, including holdovers like Johnson, especially with a huge Monday Night Football matchup coming in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns. Will they be able to count on Johnson?


Steelers injury update: Diontae Johnson is Out for Week 2

Injury timeline: Johnson injured his hamstring in the third quarter of the Steelers Week 1 loss to the 49ers. As of this writing, no timeline for his recovery or return has been given.

Expected return: The Steelers have not announced when they expect Johnson to return but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Johnson is expected to be out for "a few weeks."

Potential replacements: While Johnson is out, second-year receiver Calvin Austin III is likely to see more targets. Austin recorded 6 receptions for 37 yards in Week 1 against the 49ers. Johnson has nothing but good things to say about Austin as his potential replacement, telling ESPN: "He's smart, so he knows what he's doing. He knows the playbook well, so it's like when he gets out there, it's not like he hasn't seen the formation or the play call before, haven't heard anything. We've been doing this since training camp, so I'm pretty sure he's going to be real comfortable out there."

Coach's quote: On Monday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Johnson was, "probably unavailable this week" for the Monday Night Football matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

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