Johnson (sports hernia) said Wednesday that he's hopeful to receive clearance to resume training within the next few days, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. Johnson indicated that he first picked up the groin injury Week 2 of the 2019 season and played through the issue before undergoing a procedure over the winter. The second-year receiver has spent time working out with Ben Roethlisberger this offseason in an attempt to develop a rapport with the veteran quarterback, but he's still apparently facing some limitations in his recovery from surgery. Johnson will face competition from James Washington and rookie Chase Claypool for regular reps at receiver, though the 23-year-old's impressive rookie season likely gives him a leg up.
Johnson is recovering from sports hernia surgery, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Johnson appears to have undergone the procedure to address an issue he played with during the 2019 regular season, though he wasn't forced to miss any time. A typical recovery for such injuries can take up to six weeks, which would put Johnson on track for training camp, though particularly severe instances can sometimes cause players to miss extended time. The Toledo product led Pittsburgh in catches (59) and receiving touchdowns (five) as a rookie, and he stands to benefit from more consistent play at the quarterback position in 2020, with Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) progressing well in his own recovery from surgery.
Johnson caught four of seven targets for 54 yards in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens. Although the rookie receiver failed to hit the century mark in a game, Johnson finished the 2019 season with a solid 59-680-5 line while playing in all 16 contests. With several players missing time due to injury Johnson led the team in catches and receiving touchdowns as well as targets (92). He also ran for 41 yards on four carries and led the league by averaging 12.4 yards per punt return, including an 85-yard touchdown. Johnson has upside heading into the 2020 season, especially if Pittsburgh gets more consistent play at quarterback.
Johnson caught eight of nine targets for 81 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Jets. Johnson's 29-yard touchdown with four seconds left before halftime tied the score at 10-10. The touchdown was thrown by Mason Rudolph, who came in after Devlin Hodges was benched following two interceptions. Rudolph later injured his shoulder, forcing Hodges back in under center. Johnson led the Steelers in targets, catches and yards in this one, operating as the team's top receiver over a clearly banged-up JuJu Smith-Schuster. The rookie third-round pick out of Toledo will have some Week 17 upside as the Steelers try to secure a playoff berth against a Ravens team that will likely rest most of its starters, though it will be easier to feel good about Johnson if he's catching balls from Rudolph as opposed to the struggling Hodges.
Johnson caught five of seven targets for 62 yards in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Bills. Johnson had a solid performance given the matchup, but the red-zone struggles of the offense cost him a repeat touchdown performance. He was targeted in the end zone on a throw, but the pass was intercepted to snuff the scoring chance. The 23-year-old maintains deep-league value while Juju Smith-Schuster (knee) remains sidelined, which could happen again when the Steelers take on the Jets on Sunday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/14||@New York Giants||29||26.00|
|3 Year Avg||92||59||680||5||31||11.53||98|