Kenny Pickett could miss significant time after suffering an apparent leg injury when he was rolled up on in the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans.
Pickett completed 15 of his 23 pass attempts for 114 yards and one interception before going out late in the third quarter of the game. His injury leaves uncertainty at quarterback for Pittsburgh after he started each of the Steelers’ first four games of the season, amassing 803 passing yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions in that span.
What are the Steelers’ options if the second-year signal-caller misses significant time?
Pittsburgh’s QB Options Aside From Kenny Pickett
Trubisky is Pittsburgh’s first option as Pickett’s backup. The veteran quarterback went 3 of 5 for 18 yards during his stint against the Texans.
It was Trubisky’s first appearance of the 2023 season after playing in seven games for the Steelers in 2022, including five starts. He went 117 of 180 for 1,252 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions on the season as Pittsburgh went 2-3 in his starts.
Although Trubisky has not been a world-beater during his career, he might be able to fill in serviceably for Pickett if he misses significant time.
Rudolph is the Steelers’ other quarterback option on the depth chart, though he is likely a longshot to see significant time, barring another injury or struggles at the spot.
Rudolph last appeared in a game in 2021, when he played twice for the Steelers, including one start. He also saw some sporadic appearances in 2020 after making eight starts and 10 appearances in 2019. The signal-caller has completed 236 of 384 pass attempts for 2,366 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in his career.
He certainly won’t be Pittsburgh’s first option, but Rudolph could potentially see time with struggles from Trubisky or another injury.
Free Agent Options
If Pickett does miss significant time and the Steelers are not happy with their in-house options, they could look to free agency to fill the void at quarterback.
Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Colt McCoy, and Joe Flacco are among the top free agent options on the market.
Ryan made 12 starts for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, completing 309 of 461 pass attempts for 3,057 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. The Colts went 4-7-1 in his time at the helm.
Wentz appeared in eight games for the Washington Commanders last year, including seven starts, as he completed 172 of 276 pass attempts for 1,755 yards, 11 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The Commanders went 2-5 in his seven starts.
McCoy made four appearances for the Arizona Cardinals last season, including three starts, going 90 of 132 for 780 passing yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. The 37-year-old led Arizona to a 1-2 record in his three games as the starter.
Flacco made four starts for the New York Jets last year and five appearances overall, completing 110 of 191 passes for 1,051 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. The Jets were 1-3 in his four games under center.
Although none of those options are the flashiest of names, any of the four might be able to avoid letting the wheels fall off in Pittsburgh.