Mike Tomlin isn’t ruling out Kenny Pickett for Thursday night.
The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach said Monday that Pickett, despite leaving Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars early with a rib injury, would be a game-time decision for Thursday’s matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
"I think the door is definitively ajar for Kenny," Tomlin said, via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. "Probably a game-time-type decision based on the information that I'm holding here today, with no structural damage and so forth to his ribs.
"And so, we see how we'll go through the week, his ability to throw, his level of comfort, his ability of effectiveness, et cetera, and let that be our guide in terms of determining his availability."
Pickett left Sunday’s game in the second quarter after he took a hit in the pocket from Jaguars defensive lineman Adam Gotsis. Pickett hit the ground hard on his right side after throwing an incomplete pass.
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) October 29, 2023
Pickett warmed up again after halftime, but backup Mitchell Trubisky stayed in the game the rest of the way.
Neither Pickett nor Trubisky looked good in the 20-10 loss to the Jaguars, who have now won five straight games. Pickett went 10-of-16 for 73 yards before he left the game and led the team to four three-and-outs on their first four drives of the game. Trubisky did lead the Steelers on a 75-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, where he hit George Pickens for a 22-yard score, but he threw two interceptions in the loss. Trubisky went 15-of-27 for 138 yards on the day.
The Steelers’ offense has been bad all season. They have averaged just 217.7 yards per game, which is better than only the New York Giants, and they’re averaging just 16.1 points per game, which is better than just three other teams in the league.
Pickett has thrown for 1,330 yards and five touchdowns with four interceptions this season, his second in the league. If he can't go, Trubisky will start in his place Thursday. The Steelers will have a practice on Wednesday that will determine Pickett’s status.
While Pickett is questionable, All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick went down with a non-contact hamstring injury early Sunday afternoon, too. Fitzpatrick has already been ruled out of Thursday’s game.
The loss Sunday dropped the Steelers to 4-3 on the season. They’ll host the Titans — who are fresh off a 28-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons in quarterback Will Levis’ debut — at Acrisure Stadium.