David Johnson Nears Return

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Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers activated tight end David Johnson off of the Physical Unable to Perform list. Johnson has now started to participate in practice with the rest of the team and is getting closer to getting back into the game.

When was the last time Johnson played in an NFL game? August 13th, 2012, Johnson suffered a torn ACL in the Steelers’ first preseason game of the 2012 season. Now that it has been over a year, Johnson is still not 100% but is pushing to play as the Steelers are light at tight end with Heath Miller (ACL) and Matt Spaeth (Foot) down for at least the preseason.

“It’s been a long road, a lot of training and a lot of dedication,” Johnson told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I kept my faith and kept going at it every day. Every day, I felt better and better. I was just glad today to be able to be able to make it through one practice.”

Johnson, who played mostly fullback while on the roster from 2009-2011, helps on the blocking front of things, but only caught 18 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown in his three seasons. Johnson will also need to prove he is a valuable receiver.

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” he said. “It’s natural. I’ve been playing tight end my whole life. Once I got back in there, I felt right back at home.”

Johnson re-signed a one-year contract with the Steelers on March 13, 2013. Johnson’s job on the roster may not be secure if he can not play this preseason. Johnson is pushing hard and Saturday may be his first time playing a game in over a year.

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