A week ago, we passed along the photo of rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson laid up in the hospital after an unknown surgery.
— Steelers Depot 🏆👑 (@Steelersdepot) February 6, 2020
The PPG’s Gerry Dulac provided an update of the nature of that surgery, reporting Johnson underwent a hernia repair.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson tweeted picture of himself in hospital after sports hernia surgery
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 13, 2020
It’s unknown how long Johnson had been dealing with the injury. He was never listed on the injury report for it or anything similar during the regular season. Often times though, these are problems that date back to college. But with the jam-packed draft process, everything from Combine training, the actual Combine, Pro Day visits, private workouts, all leading into the draft and all the NFL brings. This is truthfully the first downtime he’s had in about 18 months so it’s smart to fix whatever was bothering him.
And it’s a positive the injury isn’t overtly serious. Johnson should soon make a full recovery and worst-case scenario, be fully ready to go for training camp. It’s likely he’s able to participate at some level during the spring as well.
As a rookie, Johnson caught 59 passes for 680 yards and five touchdowns. He led all rookies in receptions, the first Steeler to do that in 80 yards. He was named an All-Pro for his punt return work, highlighted by a dazzling 85 yard runback against the Arizona Cardinals.
He enters his sophomore season as the clear-cut, starting X receiver on the team. JuJu Smith-Schuster will line up opposite as the Z in two receiver sets, kicking inside to the slot in 11 personnel with James Washington coming onto the field.