PITTSBURGH (AP)Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson has been cleared to return to practice, opening the door for a potential return, possibly as early as this week.
Johnson has been on injured reserve since injuring his right hamstring during a 30-7 loss to San Francisco in the season opener.
The Steelers opened the 21-day window for Johnson and backup running back Anthony McFarland Jr. on Monday.
The Steelers (3-2) have muddled through without their top pass catcher, remaining in the mix in the competitive AFC North despite some serious issues on offense.
Johnson, who’s led Pittsburgh in receptions in three of his four seasons since being taken in the third round of the 2019 draft, said last week he expects to make an impact when he returns.
The Steelers were off on Sunday. They travel to play the Los Angeles Rams (3-3) next weekend.
The moves on Monday mean the team has a three-week window to decide when it wants to activate either player. Johnson indicated he believes he can contribute sooner rather than later.
Pittsburgh’s offense has sputtered through its first five games. The Steelers are last in the NFL in first downs and near the bottom of the league in yards (30th) and points (30th).
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