PITTSBURGH — Mitch Trubisky will make his second start of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday when they travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Monday.
Tomlin said that starting quarterback Kenny Pickett has been ruled out at least another week after having surgery on his right ankle last week.
Trubisky started his first game of the season on Thursday in a loss to the New England Patriots, to tepid results. He completed 22 of 35 passes for 190 yards and threw one touchdown late, but also had one pass intercepted and nearly returned for a touchdown and two more that could have been. He finished with a 74.7 passer rating.
Tomlin said that while Trubisky will start, he feels that he got better as the game went on on Thursday, and that he expects him to continue to play better going forward.
“I thought Mitch picked up his play as the game wore on,” Tomlin said. “I thought it’s a reasonable expectation for him to be even better because of that experience and because of the experience of a full week’s prep this week in preparation for the performance: in-helmet reps, full-speed reps, things of that nature. Excited about that component of it.”
Specifically asked about Trubisky’s decision-making during the game, Tomlin echoed those thoughts.
“I thought it improved as the game wore on and I think with the with a full week’s prep, I think it’s reasonable to expect that to continue and then to continue at an increased rate,” he said.
The Steelers will hope that improvement continues when Trubisky leads the Steelers onto the road against the Colts this Saturday. On the season, he has a 60.7% completion percentage, 72.7 passer rating, 35.3 QBR and 4.15 adjusted net yards per attempt.
If he had thrown enough passes to qualify, those stats would be 28th, 30th, 27th and 31st in the league. He’s well behind Indianapolis backup Gardner Minshew, also expected to start, in each category.