Steelers’ Diontae Johnson shows lack of effort on fumble vs. Bengals

Steelers wide Diontae Johnson reportedly got into a feud with teammates following the team’s Week 11 loss to the Browns. He’s likely not winning over the locker room on Sunday after showing no effort on a lost fumble against the Bengals.

Pittsburgh running back Jaylen Warren lost a fumble in the first quarter of the team’s AFC North rivalry clash with the Bengals. Johnson appeared to be in a position to jump on the ball, or at least make a tackle on Bengals corner D.J. Turner, who recovered the fumble. Instead, he just stood there as players around him all continued the play.
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Turner ran the ball back 28 yards to the Cincinnati 39, though the Bengals wound up having to punt the ball away.

MORE: Bengals QB Jake Browning’s road to first NFL start after starring at Washington

Just the play before, Johnson had appeared to catch a touchdown, but it was ruled that he had not held onto the ball as he made contact with the ground. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did not challenge the ruling.

On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Johnson had gotten into a feud with teammates following the team’s loss to the Browns, particularly getting into it with safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Johnson reportedly was “chirping” with coaches until Fitzpatrick stepped in, and the two quickly became “heated” before Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt stepped in to limit any further escalation. The situation reportedly was believed to have been resolved heading into the week of preparation for the Bengals.

Johnson had already been visibly frustrated on the sideline before the end of the game, according to The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, in an incident that wound up leading to offensive tackle Broderick Jones separating Johnson from a Steelers coach.

“You all saw what happened,” Johnson said, per The Athletic, without adding any further comments. Kaboly reported Steelers running back Najee Harris was asked if everyone had a “team-first attitude,” and he gave a non-committal answer.

Per The Athletic, Harris said: “I’d rather not talk about the team, I’d rather just talk about me, my performance.”

Coming into Sunday’s game, Johnson ranked second on the team in receiving yards (335) and third in receptions (26). Per PFF, he ranks tied for 34th in drop rate at 7.1 percent.

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