Johnson brought in three of his four targets for 96 yards in Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Browns. Johnson missed a day of practice during the week due to an illness, but he was fully healthy for the team's Week 17 matchup against Cleveland. The second-year wideout finished his season with impressive output, accruing his most receiving yards since Week 11. Johnson had some issues with drops along the way, but he still led the team with 144 targets during the regular season. He tallied 88 receptions for 923 yards and seven touchdowns to go with three rushes for 15 yards. He demonstrated his potential in 2020 and could serve as the Steelers' clear top receiver next season if JuJu Smith-Schuster signs elsewhere during the offseason. Regardless of his status for next year, Johnson should continue to play a significant role for Pittsburgh during the playoffs.
Johnson was listed as a non-participant in Friday's practice due to an illness, but he doesn't carry a designation into Sunday's game against the Browns. Any absence at practice related to an illness has naturally warranted concern this season, but the Steelers haven't provided any indication his ailment is related to COVID-19. As such, Johnson should be in the clear for the regular-season finale, though how much he actually plays has yet to be determined. The Steelers are already resting starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the contest, and several other top contributors are expected to be rested during the game, if not healthy inactives. Given that Johnson has left multiple games this season due to injury, he would seem to be a prime candidate to play less than his usual allotment of snaps as the Steelers prioritize preserving key players' health for the postseason above all else Week 17.
Johnson caught eight of 14 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown while adding a two-yard rush during Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts. Johnson led the team in targets while finishing second in catches and receiving yards. The highlight of this performance came on a diving 39-yard touchdown reception that ignited his team's comeback in the third quarter. Johnson has responded encouragingly after his most recent drop issues, hauling in 16 balls for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns over the last two games. He is also up to seven touchdowns after notching three in his last four games and will look to add to his numbers in next Sunday's regular-season finale against the Browns.
Johnson caught eight of 13 targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in Monday's 27-17 loss to the Bengals. Johnson scored Pittsburgh's first points with a 23-yard touchdown early in the third quarter and also drew a fourth-down pass interference call to set up Benny Snell's one-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The 24-year-old receiver put his recent struggles with drops in the rear-view mirror and led Pittsburgh in targets, catches and receiving yards. Johnson has been targeted at least 10 times in nine of 13 games played this season, including six of the past seven. He'll hope to lead the struggling Steelers out of their recent malaise in Week 16 against the Colts.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday that he intends to give Johnson a clean slate after the wideout dropped three passes in Sunday's loss to the Bills, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Tomlin said Johnson "responded appropriately" to being benched in the first half, suggesting that the receiver won't see a role reduction Week 15 in Cincinnati. However, if Johnson fails to show improvement with regard to the drops, he could end up losing snaps to Chase Claypool, who has made a strong impression as a rookie.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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