Friday update: Johnson has been removed from the COVID-19 list for Week 18, per Brooke Pryor. That was quick, as he was placed on the list just yesterday. This is a big upgrade from the possibility of him not playing this week.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without their No. 1 wide receiver to close out the season, as Diontae Johnson has been placed on the COVID-19 list, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Steelers still have a slim chance to sneak into the playoffs, but they would need the Jacksonville Jaguars to upset the Indianapolis Colts and now they’ll be without their best player.
Johnson has had a great season on a team that hasn’t been very good this year. The decline of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to be evident, but Johnson has still put up 100 receptions for 1,110 yards and eight touchdowns. With a stronger armed quarterback, his average yards per reception and totals would have likely been even higher.
Fantasy football impact
If Johnson can’t get cleared in time, which is the likely outcome, Chase Claypool, Ray Ray McCloud and James Washington would be the primary receivers. Claypool would have the most upside, but McCloud could end up seeing a lot of receptions.