Steelers News

Kevin Dotson Says He Apologized To Kenny Pickett For Hit That Left Him Concussed

Have you ever had somebody threaten to kill you after having a bad day at the office? Well, then you might not be a professional football player in the NFL, because apparently that’s a thing (not that anybody who’s been around the block a time or two should be surprised.

Third-year guard Kevin Dotson said that he received some death threats on Sunday following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win after struggling, particularly with penalties. He was flagged three times, twice for holding, on the second of which he still allowed rookie starting quarterback to take a hit that left him concussed.

“I gave up a sack. I don’t know why everyone is going crazy. Maybe because it was Kenny Pickett”, he said, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on Monday at the team facility. Not that he takes the incident lightly.

“I gave up a sack. I won’t deny it. Something happened afterward”, he went on to say about the play in the third quarter that knocked Pickett out of the game. “I told him sorry. He forgave me. I don’t care what everyone else thinks”.

It was an unfortunate play all around. Pickett even completed the pass that he was throwing as he was being hit, albeit an inevitably wobbly one given the circumstances, which Diontae Johnson caught and carried on for what should have been a 27-yard gain at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 48-yard line.

Instead, it put the Steelers in 1st and 20 at their own 15 with backup Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. The fact that Trubisky actually came in and played well—which included completing a 16-yard pass two plays later on 3rd and 15—is beside the point.

The point, Dotson’s point, is that nobody needs to get on him for what happened, because he’s already got that covered. He knows what happened and he knows it was his fault, and nobody feels worse about it than he does. That’s why he apologized to Pickett.

But at the end of the day, it’s just an unfortunate play, one that all involved have to work on preventing from repeating. Everybody is thinking about Pickett and pulling for a rapid path to full recovery from the concussion that he suffered on the play after hitting his head on the ground, but ultimately, all Dotson did was hold a defender.

Certainly nothing that should cost him his life, or that should even expose him to threats against it, genuine or otherwise. But this isn’t about getting on a platform about the wrongs of threatening to kill people over stupid things, either.

It’s simply about a lineman owning up to his mistakes and asking for his quarterback’s forgiveness. Dotson’s primary job is to protect the quarterback. He knows he failed. He also knows he’ll have another chance to do better next week, and that’s where his focus is.

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