PITTSBURGH — Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett is doubtful to play in this Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 game against the Carolina Panthers, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Friday.
Pickett was a limited participant in practice for the third consecutive day and remains in the NFL concussion protocol. As to who will replace Pickett, Tomlin said that will not be determined until after the team’s Saturday walkthrough. A final determination on Pickett’s status will also be made at that time.
“We’ll get some clarity on that and other things tomorrow and we’ll make statements regarding who is playing and who is not and the depth at that time,” Tomlin said. “We’ve got some clarity about where we’re going, there’s just no need to land the plane until it’s required.”
Pickett was removed from the team’s game on Sunday while being evaluated for a concussion and has been in the protocol since then. It’s the second time he’s been in the concussion protocol this season. Mitch Trubisky replaced Pickett in both of those games, but after a three-interception outing against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Tomlin left the door open to “2-A” quarterback Mason Rudolph making a start this week. Rudolph and Trubisky split the starter’s reps in practice this week, while Pickett was limited to largely individual drills.
“Both guys have split reps and seen enough situations and not only what they’ve done this week, but the totality of what they’ve done makes us extremely comfortable in terms of considering both guys,” Tomlin said.
Rudolph has been the team’s third-string quarterback all season, but Tomlin said that the increase in playing time this week did not necessarily mean a shift in the team’s depth chart at the position, saying that if it did, he would say so on Saturday.