Two offensive playmakers were placed on injured reserve, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Monday. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson (hamstring) and running back Anthony McFarland, Jr. (knee) won’t be eligible to return until after the team’s Week 6 bye.
After three catches for 43 yards, Johnson exited in the third quarter of Pittsburgh’s Week 1 game versus the San Fransisco 49ers. McFarland, who had been returning kicks, popped up on the team’s injury report during this week’s practice.
Running back Qadree Ollison, signed by the Steelers on September 2, was elevated to the active/inactive roster. Ollison was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2019 and had layovers with the Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s best known in the Pittsburgh area from his time with the Pitt Panthers. In his final collegiate season, he rushed for 1,213 yards (6.3 yards per carry).
We have promoted RB Qadree Ollison from the practice squad to the Active/Inactive roster and placed WR Diontae Johnson and RB Anthony McFarland Jr. on the Reserve/Injured list. @bordaslawhttps://t.co/1wZaPRiofV
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 18, 2023
Kick return duties will likely go to wide receiver Gunner Olszewski, who was a healthy Week 1 scratch. He had a shoddy season at the position in 2022, so we’ll all be holding our collective breath that he can at least field the ball cleanly.
Last week was a frustrating game for the offense as a whole, but they’ll have to shake it off and step it up versus the Cleveland Browns. They’ll be fighting to go 2-0 for the first time since 1999 and for their first regular season win in Pittsburgh in two decades.