The Steelers will have starting quarterback Kenny Pickett on Thursday. He logged a full practice on Wednesday and is without a game designation. That means that despite questions leading up to the game, Pickett appears in line to play. The messaging throughout the week has remained consistent that he has the door open for him, and yesterday, Pickett vowed to play.
Kenny Pickett suffered a rib injury in the team’s Week 8 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He left the game before halftime and was unable to return. Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed on Monday that there is no structural damage and that Pickett’s return will be about pain management and how he can perform in a practice setting.
He was cleared to return to Sunday’s game against the Jaguars, but after testing out the pain management while throwing, Pickett did not feel that he gave the team a better shot to win than Mitch Trubisky. So, Trubisky played along, and Pickett sat out for the rest of the afternoon.
“I felt like I couldn’t throw it the way I needed to throw it to help us to win,” Pickett said.
But he said he feels “good” now and expects to feel even better by the time the lights go on at Acrisure Stadium on Thursday.
“It’ll be better in a couple of days,” he said. “It’s still early.”
Pickett said he thought the play might have drawn a penalty, but “it what it is, you’ve just got to keep playing.” He was also injured in the team’s Week 4 game against the Houston Texans but returned to play the following week. Tennessee will be without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is nursing a high ankle sprain. Highly impressive rookie Will Levis will get the start after throwing four touchdowns against the Falcons in the 28-23 win for the Titans on Sunday.