Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals that crept back up after their Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. What’s his current status, and when is he expected to return?
Kenny Pickett Injury Update
A playoff-hopeful team, the Steelers are now in a tough position without their starting quarterback.
Pickett originally suffered the ankle injury in Week 12. HC Mike Tomlin labeled it as “discomfort,” but the quarterback didn’t miss any practice time. He then aggravated the injury against the Cardinals on Sunday.
After a second-quarter rushing attempt on a 3rd-and-goal from Arizona’s three-yard line, Pickett stayed down on the field after taking a hit to his right leg on the play. He was slow to get up and eventually went down again.
Pickett was finally able to walk off the field under his own power, but he was noticeably limping.
After spending time in the blue medical tent on Pittsburgh’s sideline, Pickett was taken to the locker room. The Steelers initially announced that Pickett was questionable to return with an ankle injury. However, they ruled him out before the start of the third quarter. Pickett returned to Pittsburgh’s bench wearing a walking boot.
The quarterback will undergo surgery on Monday and will miss “two-to-four weeks,” according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pickett will definitely be out for Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots, and while coach Tomlin declined to give a specific timeline for the quarterback’s return, he said the injury is not season-ending.
“They’ll always come out of the O.R. with some information in that regard, but I’m just not privy to it, as I sit here today,” Tomlin said when asked about Pickett’s recovery timeline. “That’s why I framed it the way that I framed it. Rest assured, he won’t be available this week.”
Pickett underwent a “tightrope” procedure for a high ankle sprain, according to ESPN.
The Pitt Panthers product has already dealt with injury issues this season. He suffered a bone bruise in Week 4 before working around a rib problem starting in Week 8.
Meanwhile, the Steelers will now turn to Mitchell Trubisky as their starting quarterback. The veteran is 2-3 as a starter with the Steelers. This season, Trubisky has completed 29 of 49 attempts for 273 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
After stepping in for Pickett in the Cardinals game, Trubisky completed 64.7% of his pass attempts for 117 yards and a touchdown. QB Mason Rudolph will operate as the team’s backup behind Trubisky.
“He’s been a franchise quarterback before,” Tomin said of Trubisky. “He’s comfortable in those shoes. He doesn’t behave like a backup as being elevated, and I think those are things that make him attractive.”
So far this season, Pickett has completed 62% of his pass attempts for 2,070 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions.
The Steelers are 7-5 and currently in the playoff bracket for the AFC. The team has crucial games on the horizon, including two against AFC North opponents, which will help decide their postseason fate.
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