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 Steelers tight end Johnson passes first test

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PostSubject: Steelers tight end Johnson passes first test   Steelers tight end Johnson passes first test EmptySun Aug 25, 2013 11:57 pm

By Ralph N. Paulk

David Johnson, a year removed from a career-threatening knee injury, jogged onto Heinz Field on Saturday night without most of the 51,852 fans acknowledging his return.

But the Steelers' soft-spoken tight end was fine with the absence of fanfare.

Johnson, who missed all of last season after severely injuring his right knee in the preseason opener at Philadelphia, considers himself blessed to have lined up in the trenches against Kansas City.

After all, he limped through much of training camp at St. Vincent. He methodically worked his way back with a grueling rehabilitation regimen that challenged his aspirations to suit up again.

On his first snap from scrimmage in nearly 13 months, Johnson fired off the ball without hesitation. He didn't pancake the defender, yet he scaled the first hurdle by relying on his athleticism instead of instinctively guarding his knee from contact.

“I'm a positive person,” said Johnson, who started all 16 regular-season games in 2011. “I wasn't thinking negatively about my knee. I don't see what good comes from that. I figured since I was out there, I might as well give it all I got.

“I had a good week of practice, so I knew I had a good chance of playing. It was important for me not think about the knee, but just play.”

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