For the second time this season, the Steelers lost their rookie quarterback midway through a game. Kenny Pickett exited Pittsburgh’s loss to the Ravens during the first quarter and was quickly ruled out by the team while in concussion protocol.
The same situation took place in mid-October, when the first-rounder was knocked out of the Steelers’ Week 6 win over the Buccaneers. That, in turn, came not long after the team had officially committed to him as their starting signal-caller moving forward, after a brief and underwhelming start to the campaign by free agent signing Mitch Trubisky.
It was once again the veteran who took over for the remainder of this game. Trubisky helped the Steelers move the ball throughout the contest, but his performance was crippled by three interceptions made deep in Ravens territory. The former No. 2 overall pick finished the game completing 22 of 30 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown in addition to the trio of picks.
Trubisky has one season remaining on the deal he signed this offseason, but the timing of Pickett’s ascension to the starting role has led to a widespread expectation that the one-time Pro Bowler will find himself elsewhere in 2023. The same has reportedly been predicted in the case of the team’s third-string QB, Mason Rudolph. The latter was not a serious contender for the No. 1 spot during Pittsburgh’s summer competition, and has yet to see the field in 2022.
Today’s loss drops the Steelers to 5-8, and stops the momentum the team had built up by winning three of four games after their bye week entering the contest. Attention will turn to Pickett’s recovery from a second major head injury suffered in less than one season, and Trubisky’s performance in Week 15 against the Panthers if he is required to start.