Mitch Trubisky to Start Steelers Preseason Opener, Starters to Play One Quarter
UNITY TWP., Pa. — Mitch Trubisky will be the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback when the team opens its 2022 preseason against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on Thursday, head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Thursday.
Tomlin said that he expects Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett to both also play, and that they will likely be deployed in the same fashion that they have been throughout training camp, with Rudolph with the second team and Pickett with the third team.
“Like I mentioned to you guys, I wasn’t going to be blowing in the wind regarding a quarterback rotation,” Tomlin said. “We’ve been thoughtful about giving guys an opportunity to work in different groups. But our intentions are to play them this first time out very much the way we started this process.”
Tomlin expects most starters to play one quarter, the second team for the second and third quarter and the third team during the fourth quarter, though that general plan will be changed for specific circumstances for individual players.
Under Tomlin, the Steelers have generally played their starters only one quarter during the first preseason game, and some veterans haven’t played at all. He did not specifically list any player, veteran or otherwise, that he does not expect to play on Saturday, and said he’s leaving the door open for all currently injured players.
A number of Steelers regulars have been banged up this week, including starting running back Najee Harris, wide receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, tight end Pat Freiermuth, guard Kevin Dotson and outside linebacker Alex Highsmith.
“I’m always going to have an inclusive mentality,” Tomlin said. “Obviously, if somebody has missed a significant amount of practice time, I probably won’t play them because I’m setting them up for failure. But at this point, all of those that are working and working in some capacity, I’m having an inclusive mentality.”
The Steelers will have one final practice on Thursday afternoon and then a walkthrough on Friday before Saturday’s preseason opener at 7 p.m. on Saturday.