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Diontae Johnson removed from injury report ahead of Week 5 vs. Bills

We break down the news that Diontae Johnson is dealing with a hip injury. What it means for Week 5 and beyond.

Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Friday update: Diontae Johnson practiced fully on Friday and has been removed from the injury report. He’s good to go for a tough matchup with the Bills.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to have a tough test this weekend as they take on the Buffalo Bills. They have already decided to start rookie Kenny Pickett on the road against Buffalo, which is not exactly the team you want to see in your first career start. Some potential bad news dropped on Thursday as wide receiver Diontae Johnson was limited in practice and is dealing with a hip injury.

Fantasy football implications

Diontae Johnson hasn't exactly lived up to the fantasy football expectations he had going into the season. Whether it was from Mitch Trubisky or the offensive scheme, he has seen a drop in both targets and production which has spelled poor fantasy performances for his managers. This week against the Bills, he doesn't have a great matchup. The only hope was that the rookie Pickett would be forced to throw the ball more and give Johnson some garbage time points. If Johnson can play, I think he is worth a flex play this week, as you hope for the best. If he isn't able to have a solid outing, you may look at sitting him next week.

If he ends up sitting and misses the game, you will want to pivot to another rookie in his place. George Pickens would figure to see a large uptick in targets if Johnson misses. Chase Claypool potentially could, but Pickett has had to work with Pickens more in the offseason, so they have a better shot of starting on the same page. I like Pickens regardless of Johnson’s status as a flex in deeper leagues. If Johnson is inactive, fire up Pickens in standard leagues too.