Kenny Pickett suffered a bone bruise in his knee during the Steelers' Week 4 loss in Houston, according to head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin said he expects Pickett to practice Wednesday, and that the quality of Pickett's practices this week will ultimately determine his status for this Sunday's home game against Baltimore.
Tomlin said the staff would meet prior to Wednesday's practice as far as divvying up reps between quarterbacks. Tomlin said that the group will need to be unselfish regarding reps as he will try to see the readiness of Pickett along with backups Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.
Pickett sustained the injury when he was sacked by Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard with the Steelers facing a fourth-and-1 on Houston's 33-yard-line. Pickett stayed on the ground for several moments before he was aided off the field by two members of Pittsburgh's medical staff. The Steelers trailed the Texans 16-6 at the time of the injury and ended up losing, 30-6.
Tomlin confirmed that Trubisky is in line to replace Pickett, who was 15 of 23 for 114 yards with an interception through three quarters. Trubisky, a former No. 2 overall pick, went 3-4 as Pittsburgh's starting quarterback last season. He went 17 of 22 for 179 yards in his last start for Pittsburgh, a 24-16 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 15 of the 2022 season. Trubisky started the 2022 season as Pittsburgh's starting quarterback before he was replaced by Pickett in Week 4.
Regarding Pickett, Tomlin said that he would like to see his second-year quarterback make fluid decisions moving forward, specifically early in games. Tomlin would like to see the same from the rest of his offense.
"I think as plays get extended, particularly early in games, it increases the potential for offensive negativity and defensive positivity," Tomlin said. "I think, a component of us getting off to more fluid starts is more fluid decision making and things happening more on rhythm.
"So I think that will be a focus for him and for us, because it's not just him. We've got to be assignment perfect. If we want the ball to come out on time, guys got to be where they need to be. They've got to win one-on-one matchups and win them quickly. We've got to protect him. ... It's not only him, it's us."