Johnson/McFarland to injured reserve, former Panther called up

Qadree Ollison finally gets his shot with the Steelers
Diontae Johnson closeup
Photo credit Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Qadree Ollison said he thought coming out of Pitt there would be a chance he would be drafted by the Steelers. Now the running back has been added to the active roster as tailback Anthony McFarland and receiver Diontae Johnson were put on Injured Reserve.

Johnson had held out hope that he wouldn’t have to go on IR with a hamstring injury. But we know he will miss the first Ravens matchup and not available until after the bye week. It’s a big loss, in three seasons-281 catches (149 for first down), 2,966 yards, 15 touchdowns (all in ’20 & ’21).

McFarland has battled with injuries since being the Steelers fourth-round pick in 2020. He was a bright spot last Sunday averaging 30 yards a kickoff return and two catches for 11 yards.

The 6’1”, 232-pound Ollison said it has been like a full circle moment to be with the Steelers as he was signed to the practice squad on September 2. Mike Tomlin joked with him that it took five years for him to get from the Pitt practice field to the Steelers.

The 26-year-old was the Falcons fifth-round pick in 2019. He played 19 games in three seasons with Atlanta with 44 carries for 158 yards and five touchdowns, five receptions for 19 yards. Of his 2021 carries, a third of them resulted in first downs for the 6’1”, 232 pounder. Ollison appeared in three games with Dallas last year playing 43% of the special teams reps.

Ollison was twice Second Team All-ACC with the Panthers including being named the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 finishing with 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns. The New York native rushed for 1,213 yards (second in ACC) his senior season averaging 6.25 yards per carry. He finished with 2,859 career rushing yards (seventh in Pitt history) and 29 touchdowns (sixth in Pitt history).

Featured Image Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports