Although Diontae Johnson was on the field for Day One of his NFL career, his role was apparently limited. He told the Trib’s Joe Rutter he was held out of team drills today. Johnson said it wasn’t injury-related but apparently didn’t elaborate for why he wasn’t a full participant.
Third-round pick Diontae Johnson said he didn’t do any team drills on first day of Steelers rookie minicamp, but he said he is not injured.
— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) May 10, 2019
It’s hard to determine why the Steelers made the decision to hold him out. Field conditions were slick today thanks to morning showers and as Dave Bryan noted, Johnson had a history of slipping and poor footing in college. Maybe the team is being extra cautious.
Johnson was selected in the third round, 66th overall, of last months’ draft. He’s expected to play the X receiver spot manned by Antonio Brown and work inside in the slot. His main competition will be Donte Moncrief, signed during free agency, and has a leg up being the veteran.
At Toledo, Johnson caught 135 career passes for more than 2200 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also made splash plays in the return game with four career run-backs, two on kicks and two on punts.
Let’s just hope Johnson is sitting out for non-serious reasons and that the rest of the 59 players attending this week’s minicamp make it through healthy. In OTAs last spring, the team lost Jerald Hawkins (quad) and Jake McGee (achilles) for the season.