Diontae Johnson Says He’s Not Fully Cleared From Offseason Surgery

In a conference call with local media, Diontae Johnson gave a minor update on his health after undergoing offseason core muscle/hernia surgery. While he’s been working out and rehabbing, he’s yet to be fully cleared from surgery.

News of Johnson’s surgery isn’t new. Johnson posted a photo of him in the hospital on Feburary 6th and a week later, Gerry Dulac reported it was for a hernia. That puts him almost four months out from the operation.

While four months is a long time, there’s no reason to rush Johnson back, especially considering the lack of an offseason program. Lack of access to Steelers’ doctors during the COVID pandemic is another factor.

It sounds like Johnson is making strides, still able to work out, and hopes to be cleared in the near future. Should the timeline hold, he should be good to go for training camp in mid-late July. Last year, Johnson admitted he was hitting the rookie wall, possibly in part due to playing through the injury.

According to Rutter, Johnson says he suffered the groin/muscle injury in Week Two versus Seattle. That forced him to play through it the rest of the year.

“I’m hitting the rookie wall, or whatever, but I’m still pulling through,” he said last December. “My teammates are talking to me, or whatnot, telling me how to get through it, or whatever. But I’m just tired overall, but I’m still gonna play my behind off for my teammates. Can’t let that be an excuse.”

Johnson also battled a hamstring injury during rookie minicamp and throughout his first preseason. Having the surgery, getting his body right, and for the first time in a long time, getting some rest, is critical.

Despite poor QB play, Johnson had a strong rookie year. He led all rookies with 59 receptions along with 680 yards receiving and six total touchdowns (five receiving, one punt return). Having him healthy, experienced, and most of all, Ben Roethlisberger as his quarterback should lead to an even more productive 2020.


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