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Diontae Johnson removed from injury report, will face Bengals in Week 1

We break down news that Diontae Johnson is dealing with a shoulder injury. What it means for Week 1 and beyond.

Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during warm ups before a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

September 9 late update: Johnson has been removed from the injury report and will play against the Bengals.

September 9 update: Johnson told reporters on Friday that he practiced in full and will play on Sunday vs. the Bengals, per Brooke Pryor. Johnson did say that playing is about pain tolerance, so he’s likely not 100%.

September 8 late update: Johnson was once again limited in practice on Thursday. If he can get a full practice in on Friday, he should be good to go, but we will need to wait to see.

September 8 early update: Johnson was officially limited on Wednesday and despite his earlier statements onlookers believed he looked healthy out there. And today his teammate Chase Claypool believed Johnson would play:

We’ll see what Thursday brings, but there is some positivity right now.

September 7 update: Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that he wouldn’t have been able to go back into the preseason game after his shoulder injury, per Brooke Pryor. This contradicts head coach Mike Tomlin who said he would have been able to.

He also didn’t sound too confident about his playing in Week 1:

The Pittsburgh Steelers Diontae Johnson was unable to practice on Monday due to a shoulder injury suffered in their last preseason game, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. We’ll of course need more information before digging too deep, but this is something to keep an eye on for now.

Johnson was a true No. 1 wide receiver last season, seeing the second-most targets in the league with 169 total. Unfortunately he had a dead-armed Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the ball, which made it difficult for him to truly break out. The hope is that Mitch Trubisky and possibly Kenny Pickett can help give the receiver deeper and more catchable targets this season.

Fantasy football implications

At this point we shouldn’t worry too much about him missing Week 1, but if that were to happen, the Steelers could roll with George Pickens, Chase Claypool and possibly Miles Boykin as the other outside receiver. There wouldn’t be much value in adding Boykin, but Pickens and Claypool would see a big pump in possible usage, while tight end Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris could see their receiving work upped as well.