Steelers News

Mike Tomlin Says Kenny Pickett Won’t Be Limited In Practice, Will Start Sunday If Medically Cleared

Mike Tomlin made his quarterback plan crystal clear. If medically cleared to play, rookie Kenny Pickett will start Sunday night against the Miami Dolphins.

Speaking during his Tuesday press conference, Tomlin made his plan clear.

“Kenny Pickett’s in concussion protocol,” Tomlin said via the team’s YouTube channel. “It’s my understanding his work won’t be limited in any way in preparation. We’ll adhere to the protocol and let that be our guide…I’ll say this. If he’s cleared to play, he’ll play. He’ll play quarterback for us. He’ll be a full participant is my understanding tomorrow. So we’ll have him and Mitch working at the quarterback position.”

Pickett left Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after taking a hit from linebacker Devin White. Pickett was immediately placed into concussion protocol with Mitch Trubisky replacing him, playing well and leading Pittsburgh to a much-needed victory. Trubisky finished the day going 9/12 for 144 yards and a touchdown, hitting Chase Claypool from six yards out in the fourth quarter just plays after hitting rookie Connor Heyward downfield for a 45-yard gain, the team’s longest play from scrimmage on the season.

But Tomlin isn’t opening the door for any quarterback controversy or change. He turned to Pickett at halftime in Week 4 and isn’t going back. The fact Pickett is expected to practice fully tomorrow means he should have enough reps during the week to start. Assuming he exits the protocol by the end of the week, which appears to be the more likely scenario considering he’ll be working full Wednesday, Pickett will be the guy this weekend against the Dolphins.

“There’s not a lot to talk about. We’re not going to blow in the wind,” Tomlin said of why Pickett will continue to serve as the team’s starter.

On the year, Pickett is completing 66.3% of his passes with one passing touchdown and four interceptions. He’s also rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Pittsburgh enters this weekend’s game as touchdown underdogs to Miami.

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