PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers are shutting down wide receiver Diontae Johnson for at least four weeks, placing him on Injured Reserve due to a hamstring injury.
Johnson is expected to return to the field within a month, meaning his stint on IR will be short-term. Under the NFL’s rules, he’ll need to miss four games, which includes Week 2 against the Browns, before returning to the team.
With Johnson on IR, the Steelers will turn to Calvin Austin, Allen Robinson and George Pickens as their starters. Head coach Mike Tomlin also acknowledged Gunner Olszewski and Miles Boykin will be involved in the offense more with Johnson out.
“Feel real comfortable with our in-house people, man, Gunner (Olszewski) and others, in terms of elevating and being ready to carry the load and participate,” Tomlin said.
Quarterback Kenny Pickett said the effort to replace Johnson will be by all of the remaining receivers.
“Obviously, you know Diontae is a really good player, does so many good things for us, and was really kind of trending in the right way,” Pickett said. “I thought we had a great offseason and were doing great things in the game. You know, just now it’s you know, everyone’s got to step up and pick it up. It can’t just be one guy. But you know, I had a ton of reps with everybody. So, I’m confident they’ll go out there and execute.”
With Johnson’s placement on IR, the Steelers have also promoted wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick from the practice squad.