Cleveland Browns: 4 players to watch on the Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Las Vegas Raiders on September 19, 2021 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Las Vegas Raiders on September 19, 2021 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns vs Steelers
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 10: Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers crosses the goal line to score a 50-yard touchdown reception against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Heinz Field on October 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

3. WR Diontae Johnson

When you think of receivers around the league, you likely aren’t going to think of Diontae Johnson right off the bat, that is unless you are a fan of the Steelers, of course.

Johnson has had a productive career thus far and in five games this season, he is picking up where he left off in 2020. In the early goings, Johnson was the bright spot of the Steelers offense.

Johnson missed one game with an injury earlier this season (Week 3, knee) but had been the Steelers best-receiving weapon so far. He has hauled in 34 passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for 376 yards, and three touchdowns.

In three of the five games he has played in this year, he has caught nine passes. He’s going to have to continue to step up in the absence of Juju Smith-Shuster, who was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

In his first two years, Johnson has set new career-highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He’s one pace to do that yet again, but Cleveland will look to slow that process down.

The Browns have surrendered 16 touchdowns through the air this season and some of those have come on busted coverage. Cleveland cannot afford to let Johnson get hot and potentially behind the defense.

While he isn’t an elite wide receiver in the NFL, Johnson is someone the Browns must game plan for, or else he could hurt them in a big way. It will be very interesting to see who draws the matchup on Johnson this Sunday.

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