Starting fullback David Johnson suffered what coach Mike Tomlin called a "significant knee injury" during the first quarter of the Steelers' 24-23 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Johnson tore his anterior cruciate ligament and is lost for the season.
Tomlin has to be smarting about losing Johnson, a versatile player he planned to use at both fullback and tight end, the position where he built his Steelers career.
"I'm not ready to say Johnson is exclusively a fullback," Tomlin said Tuesday, via CBSSports.com. "This guy's had several years with us exclusively as a tight end. We made a commitment to work him in the spring and the early portions of training camp as a fullback to give him that exposure, but we also found opportunities to play him at tight end, such as in tight end-vs.-outside linebacker (drills)."