Mike Tomlin gave an overview of the key injuries the Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with heading into Week 15’s game against the Carolina Panthers. During his Tuesday press conference, Tomlin confirmed that Pickett remains in concussion protocol while DL Chris Wormley will require knee surgery.
Here’s the list of three players Tomlin named today.
– QB Kenny Pickett (concussion)
– DL Chris Wormley (knee)
– TE Pat Freiermuth (foot)
Pickett is the headline story, concussed on the first series of Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He was initially checked for a concussion, cleared, and played the team’s next series. Despite not being hit, doctors re-evaluated him and pulled him from the game, placing him in protocol.
Today, Mike Tomlin gave an overview of that relatively unusual process.
Tomlin says Pickett remains in protocol and he’ll work through those steps to determine whether or not he can play.
“Participation is big for him,” he said via the team’s YouTube channel. “And the quality of that participation. The last time he sustained a concussion he was in the protocol but he was allowed to work. We’ll see what his procedure was like. His ability to work is oftentimes will determine if he’ll get an opportunity to. We’ll take it day by day. I think he’s out visiting the doctors as we speak…if he’s unable to work, we’ll divvy those reps up between Mitch and Mason and we’ll play both those guys in a practice setting.”
Tomlin did not confirm who would start if Pickett is unable to play against the Panthers, telling reporters he’s focused on the day-to-day and that both Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph would get reps during practice.
Asked throughout the press conference, Tomlin said he was not worried that this is Pickett’s second trip through protocol and that it wouldn’t change the team’s approach with Pickett once he’s cleared to return.
Wormley suffered a left knee injury in the second half of the game that Tomlin said will require surgery.
“Chris Wormley has a knee injury that’s going to require surgery. He will be out.”
Tomlin did not concern Wormley’s injury was season-ending but needing surgery with four weeks left, it’s unlikely he’s going to return to the field. An IR stint is likely. He’s set to be a free agent after the season.
Tomlin also mentioned Freiermuth, who had an unreported foot injury suffered in Sunday’s loss. But Tomlin says hinted Freiermuth’s injury is more about pain management and he’s likely to play in this weekend’s game.
Tomlin noted the rest of the team’s injuries are bumps and bruises. CB William Jackson III is eligible to return off IR this week if the team chooses to designate him later this week.