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Kenny Pickett Dressed as Steelers Backup Behind Mason Rudolph



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett at practice on Jan. 3, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

BALTIMORE — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is dressed as the backup for his team’s Week 18 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Pickett was inactive for each of the last two games, despite being cleared to play in the Week 17 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Head coach Mike Tomlin and Pickett explained this week that he was cleared late in the week leading up to the Seahawks game, and that’s why he was slotted behind Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky. Steelers Now reported last week that Pickett chose not to dress as the No. 3 against Seattle. He partially explained that stance when he spoke to the media on Tuesday.

“Guys at this level, you can do things to get you through games,” Pickett said. “There’s a process of getting through games where your health is not ideal. There’s things you can do, so if that needed to be the case, I could do those things. The trainers and the coaches didn’t see a point in me doing that if I was not starting.”

MORE: Kenny Pickett Denies Refusing to Be Steelers Backup

Pickett is dressed as the backup this week, with Trubisky active as the emergency No. 3 quarterback. Rudolph will make his third consecutive start, despite Pickett being fully healthy. 

“He’s done a good job and we’ve done a good job in the most recent two weeks,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “We’ve taken care of the ball. He’s taken care of the ball. We’ve scored points at a rate in which we hadn’t done to this point this year, and with the urgency of the moment, and because of those reasons, we’re going to leave the ball in his hands. 

“But I say all those things with the understanding that I know Kenny is very capable, and particularly as it pertains to this matchup, Kenny has led us to victory late in the game the last two times we played Baltimore. And so, we feel like we got two capable guys.”

Pickett will be available off the bench this time around if Tomlin needs to make a change, but it seems that Rudolph is going to get a chance to lead the Steelers into the postseason.