Steelers News

2022 Stock Watch – QB Kenny Pickett – Stock Down

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers are deep into the season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: QB Kenny Pickett

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: The rookie quarterback failed to progress through the concussion protocol over the course of the week of practice, being listed as limited every day. Head coach Mike Tomlin declared him doubtful to play in tomorrow’s game, all but assuring that he will miss the first game of his career and leaving open the question of him possibly missing more time.

At least as of this writing, we don’t know with complete certainty who will be starting at quarterback tomorrow for the Pittsburgh Steelers. We don’t technically even know that it’s not going to be rookie Kenny Pickett, but we do know that it’s rather unlikely.

The first-round pick suffered his second concussion of the year in Sunday’s game, on the first series, and missed the vast majority of the game. While his participation on a limited basis at the start of the practice week was an encouraging sign, there was simply no progression from there.

He continued to work on a limited basis on Thursday and then on Friday as well, and by the end of Friday’s practice, head coach Mike Tomlin spoke to reporters and let them know that he was still in the concussion protocol and would be listed as doubtful to play. He even went so far as to specify that “doubtful” would be an accurate description of his current situation.

Perhaps he might as well have just listed him as out, because at the end of the day, the reality is that he didn’t get much practice work in. Even if he suddenly clears the concussion protocol today, would they be comfortable with him on the field relative to the level of practice he was able to have this week?

And as I said above, we can’t automatically assume that he’s going to clear the concussion protocol relatively shortly. That’s not really how concussions work. Until he clears the protocol, we don’t know when it’s going to happen. Up to this point, he hasn’t had positive outside indications that he was progressing through the protocol because he has not been able to ramp up his physical exertion level.

So could he possibly miss more than one game? I certainly hope not, but, yeah, that possibility exists. And I’m not talking about the team making a decision to hold him out. I’m talking about the possibility that he is still dealing with concussion issues a week from now.

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