Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is on the shelf after having ankle surgery on Monday. The team estimated 2-4 weeks per reports, but Mike Tomlin would not give a definite timeline on Monday. However, on Wednesday, Jeremy Fowler attempted to clarify that timeline and believes that Pickett could miss four weeks, knocking him out until the Steelers would head to Baltimore to face the Ravens.
“The sense out of Pittsburgh is quarterback Kenny Pickett could end up missing four weeks with that right ankle injury. I’ve talked to people who are at least bracing for that possibility. So Mitch Trubisky could have a four-game run to make something happen. If the four-week outlook holds, then Pickett would be back for the season finale at Baltimore on Jan. 7,” Fowler wrote.
That injury is a high ankle sprain in the same ankle that has experienced discomfort over the last week. Pickett will not land on injured reserve, meaning the door is open for him to return at some point before Pittsburgh heads to Baltimore for the season’s final game. Tomlin expressed certainty that it was not a season-ending injury, and the tightrope surgery he had on his ankle will allow him to return sooner.
Pickett suffered an injury on the team’s penultimate offensive play of the first half. He dove toward the end zone when he was tackled from behind by Arizona defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter.
Pickett had entered the game dealing with a minor injury to his right ankle and had been wearing a brace on that ankle in pregame warmups. Now, he has a walking boot on that ankle, despite speculation from video of the hit that he might’ve injured his left ankle.
Trubisky replaced Pickett, as he has in both of the other times that Pickett left a game due to injury this season. He suffered a knee injury against the Houston Texans in Week 4 and a rib injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. Both times, Pickett could return to action the following week, but both were normal-length weeks.
Trubisky ended the game 11 of 17 with 117 yards and a touchdown in relief of Pickett. The Steelers scored just 10 points against a Cardinals defense that ranked among the lowest in the NFL in just about all categories.