Chris Johnson reveals that he was supposed to be a Steeler


Former NFL running back Chris Johnson revealed the reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers opted against selecting him in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Chris Johnson solidified himself as one of the best running backs in the past decade during his time with the Tennessee Titans. As it turns out, things may have happened differently in the 2008 NFL Draft that may have landed him in the AFC North instead.

During an appearance on CBS Sports’ “All Things Covered” podcast alongside Bryant McFadden and Patrick Peterson, Johnson revealed that the Pittsburgh Steelers were interested in him, but he did not want to take an MRI during his visit with the team. The reason why Johnson did not want to undergo the MRI was because he was claustrophobic.

You can listen to a snippet of the interview below, but you can catch Johnson’s full story about the Steelers in the YouTube link provided in McFadden’s tweet.

Chris Johnson believes he could have been drafted by the Steelers in 2008

It’s no surprise that the Steelers were interested in Johnson, as the running back out of the Eastern Carolina logged a 4.24-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. As Johnson states, the team really wanted Johnson to undergo an MRI for them. But after he stressed that he could not due to the claustrophobia, the Steelers sent him home.

On the first night of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Steelers opted to select Rashard Mendenhall out of Illinois with the 23rd-overall pick. Johnson did not have to wait long to get drafted, as the Titans took him with the No. 24 selection.

Johnson did not take long  to make a statement in the NFL, as he rushed for 2,006 yards on a league-high 358 carries in 2009 to win the Offensive Player of the Year award. Through his 10 year career between the Titans, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, Johnson logged 9,651 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns on 2,163 carries.

While the Steelers did end up winning the Super Bowl in the 2008 season, their fanbase can’t help but wonder what could have been had they taken Johnson.

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