Diontae Johnson’s season opener took an unfortunate turn as the Steelers’ wide receiver had to exit early due to a hamstring injury during the third quarter of Pittsburgh’s 30-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
His day had a bright spot with a 26-yard reception, but it ended in discomfort as he appeared to go down awkwardly. Following a brief assessment in the injury tent, Johnson required assistance to leave the field and headed back to the locker room. Notably, he managed an impressive 21.5 yards after the catch, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, marking the Steelers’ longest play in an otherwise challenging game against the formidable 49ers defense.
By the end of the game, Johnson’s stats included three receptions on six targets, totaling 48 yards.
Johnson faced a bit of misfortune earlier in the first quarter when he slipped on the field while attempting to make a high catch from Pickett, resulting in an interception.
It wasn’t just him; Steelers’ tight end Pat Freiermuth and cornerback Patrick Peterson also encountered difficulties with footing in the first half. Interestingly, the 49ers didn’t seem to experience any problems with the playing surface.
It’s worth noting that the Steelers share their home field with the University of Pittsburgh, which hosted a game against Cincinnati the night before.
In addition to Johnson, the Steelers faced further setbacks as defender Cameron Heyward was ruled out for the second half due to a groin injury.
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