PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett exited the first half against the Jaguars on Sunday with a rib injury, and he was ruled out for the rest of the game. Mitch Trubisky finished the game for Pittsburgh, who made a brief rally but ultimately was on the short end of a 20-10 final score.
Now, the second-year quarterback’s status is up in the air for next week with Pittsburgh set to open up Week 9 on Thursday night against the Titans, according to ESPN. The team will look to see how Pickett responds on Monday to further determine his availability going forward.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn’t provide an update on Pickett after the game, leaving his status for Thursday night’s game against the Titans up in the air.
“I don’t have any understanding of that, no,” Tomlin said when asked about the severity of Pickett’s injury and what his status could be moving forward.
The injury occurred when Pickett was hit by Jaguars defensive lineman Adam Gotsis on a first-down pass attempt with 17 seconds left until halftime. Pickett stayed on the ground for several moments before leaving the field under his own power.
Here’s the play when Pickett suffered the injury:
So you saw the roughing call against the #Steelers, how then is this NOT roughing?
In my view, neither should have been called BUT if you called Neal, you had to call this too pic.twitter.com/9KvUOwDLFr
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) October 29, 2023
After a slow start, Pickett finished the half with 73 yards on 10 of 16 passing. He made several key plays on Pittsburgh’s 12-play, 93-yard scoring drive that cut their deficit to three points late in the first half.
The Steelers do have an experienced backup in Trubisky, a former Pro Bowler with the Bears who has made 57 starts during his seven-year NFL career. He went 2-3 as the Steelers’ starting quarterback last season that included a road win over the Panthers in Week 15.
But Trubisky was unable to lead the Steelers back on Sunday after trailing 9-3 at halftime. While he did connect with George Pickens for the team’s lone touchdown, Trubisky’s two interceptions played a role in Pittsburgh’s third loss of the season.
“I’ve got to be smarter,” Trubisky said afterward. “I’m out there trying to win the game. … I wanted to push the ball down the field, and that was the wrong thing to do (on his second interception). Got to learn from it.”
As far as Pickett is concerned, expect Tomlin to provide an update on his status during his weekly press conference, which will likely take place on Monday.