ATLANTA, GA AUGUST 24: Pittsburgh wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) warms up prior to the start of the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons on August 24th, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
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Steelers Wide Receiver Expected to Miss a Month With Hamstring Injury

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson could be placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 1.

As if things couldn't get any worse for the Pittsburgh Steelers after their Week 1 blowout loss, wide receiver Diontae Johnson is now expected to miss significant time.

In the first half of Sunday's game against the San Francsico 49ers, Johnson reeled in a 26-yard reception, but landed awkwardly and went down to the ground in serious pain. Johnson was forced to exit the game, and things kept going downhill for the Steelers in a 30-7 loss.

To add injury to insult, Gerry Dulac with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Monday that Johnson is expected to miss up to four weeks with a hamstring injury, suggesting that the talented Steelers wide receiver could be placed on injured reserve.

Johnson's absence will be a huge loss for the Steelers offense. A third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Toledo, Johnson has worked to establish himself as Pittsburgh's primary weapon over the last few seasons. He earned second-team All-Pro honors as a rookie and earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021, already racking up the accolades at 27 years old. In four seasons heading into 2023, he had accumulated 340 receptions for 3,646 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Now, second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett will have to rely on other Steelers weapons to help the team quickly turn around from an 0-1 start to the season. Pat Freiermuth continues to be a stable presence at the tight end position, but the team will need an even bigger workload from second-year standout George Pickens. The former Georgia wideout seemed to be frustrated with having just five catches for 36 yards in Week 1, and the Steelers will need even more production from him in Week 2 and beyond if Johnson is unavailable.

Losing a player like Diontae Johnson is a major loss for the Steelers offense, but the good news is that he'll still be returning in the first half of the 2023 season.

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