Steelers' Johnson apologizes for lack of effort on fumble: 'I'm not perfect'
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson says he apologized to teammates for not showing enough effort in recovering a loose fumble in Sunday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I feel like I did the right thing by standing up in front of the team and telling them, owning up to my mistake," Johnson said, according to ESPN's Brooke Pryor. "All I can do is just move forward."
He added: "Next time it occurs or whatever, I own up to it. I'm not perfect."
Johnson was heavily criticized for not showing any effort on a first-quarter fumble by running back Jaylen Warren, which was recovered by the Bengals. He did not chase down the play, either.
The 27-year-old said he wasn't aware the play was still alive but would "jump on the ball" if he could relive the play.
"That's not me as a player," the wideout explained. "One play doesn't define me, never will. I didn't come up playing football like that, so obviously it looks bad on film. From here on out, just going forward, just be smart, keep playing 'til the whistle blows."
Mike Tomlin declined to elaborate on Johnson's efforts Tuesday, wanting to give the wide receiver an opportunity to speak for himself. He did offer that Johnson "can't let the emotions of the previous down affect his next down," per Pryor. The wideout dropped a touchdown pass on the play that preceded Warren's fumble.