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Mike Tomlin Shuts Down Kenny Pickett Concussion Talk: ‘Nondiscussion’



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Steelers QB Kenny Pickett against the 49ers Sept. 10, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Kenny Pickett had one of the worst games of his career on Sunday, but some thought that it might not just be due to poor play but that the quarterback got his bell rung on the first sack of the game, which happened on Pittsburgh’s third play from scrimmage. On the play, Pickett gets spun around and slammed into the ground, and his head comes down hard. However, he never exited the game.

Tomlin said the independent spotter never called down to flag the play. Pickett is not experiencing any concussion symptoms, so he seems okay. But the process never reached a point where the team was genuinely worried that Pickett suffered a concussion.

“Level of banged up, I’m not certain of, but there is so many protocols in place now,” Tomlin said. “There are independent medical specialists and so forth. I’d imagine that the quarterback position has less of my eyes directly than it used to because of it. So, I didn’t have direct eyes on what it is that you mentioned, but obviously, I saw it after. But there was no hesitancy from the independent medical experts, he didn’t express any symptoms relative to that play you mentioned, and so it was a nondiscussion for us.

Tomlin went onto address the game that Kenny Pickett had, and bascially said that Pickett made his own bed and has to lie in it. When asked about his inaccuracy for the entier game, Tomlin gave a terse, but revealing answer. That game was on Pickett, and he needs to work hard to bounce back from it.

“We’re not looking for comfort or excuses,” Tomlin said. “The tape is who we are. So, we’re gonna work to change the tape that we have control over. That tape’s in the bin. It’s his, it’s mine, it’s ours. Monday night is a little bit different.”

Tomlin remains confident that Pickett can work back to the level he saw this summer, though. That comes down to Pickett’s work ethic and confidence in himself. For Tomlin, there is little question about the work to improve himself that Pickett will put in the future after watching the tape.

“There’s football justice,” Tomlin said. “When you work at it, man, you generally good things that come out of it. This is a guy that’s fully committed. This is a guy that worked his tail off and largely, man, those guys create their own fortune.”

Regardless, the Steelers need a much better Kenny Pickett moving forward to be remotely competitive in games. The 49ers had him rattled and got into his head. As a result, Pittsburgh left points on the field that they should have scored. Now, as Tomlin said, it is more about fixing those blemishes.

Alan Saunders provided reporting from Pittsburgh.

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