Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is set to miss an extended period after suffering an ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Dulac says that Pickett will undergo ankle surgery that is expected to sideline him for 2-4 weeks. He will have the surgery on Monday to come back as quickly as possible.
That injury is a high ankle injury in that ankle that has experienced discomfort over the last week. Pickett will not land on injured reserve, meaning the door is open for him to return at some point before Pittsburgh heads to Baltimore for the final game of the season, but if that happens remains to be seen.
Pickett aggravated his right ankle injury and will have more tests on the injury on Monday. Pittsburgh plays the New England Patriots on Thursday night, and it seems likely that Mitch Trubisky will start. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that Trubisky will start if Pickett misses a significant amount of time.
“We’ll roll with Mitch, if he can’t play. But I don’t know where any of that is as I sit here today,” Tomlin said after the loss to the Cardinals.
Pickett suffered an injury on the team’s penultimate offensive play of the first half. He dove toward the end zone when he was tackled from behind by Arizona defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter.
Pickett had entered the game dealing with a minor injury to his right ankle and had been wearing a brace on that ankle in pregame warmups. Now, he has a walking boot on that ankle, despite speculation from video of the hit that he might’ve injured his left ankle.
Trubisky replaced Pickett, as he has in both of the other times that Pickett left a game due to injury this season. He suffered a knee injury against the Houston Texans in Week 4 and a rib injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. Both times, Pickett could return to action the following week, but both were normal-length weeks.
Trubisky ended the game 11 of 17 with 117 yards and a touchdown in relief of Pickett. The Steelers scored just 10 points against a Cardinals defense that ranked among the lowest in the NFL in just about all categories. In the coming weeks, they will need better out of him to stay afloat in the Wild Card race. Pickett had suffered a high ankle sprain in his other ankle before and had tightrope surgery in 2020 while at Pitt. He returned to the field in four weeks.