Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is set to miss an extended period after suffering an ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals. Mike Tomlin confirmed that Pickett had surgery on the injury to accelerate his timeline to return to play. But he will be out against the Patriots, and from beyond that, the Steelers are not too sure when he will return to the field. The reported timeline is two to four weeks.
That injury is a high ankle injury 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 season’s final game, but if that happens, it remains to be seen.
Pickett aggravated his right ankle injury after coming in with discomfort. When it comes to that, Mitch Trubisky will start without Pickett on the field.
“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.