Kenny Pickett got his chance to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time in the regular season on Sunday and all signs are pointing to him keeping the team’s starting job going forward, a league source told OutKick Monday evening.
Pickett is expected to replace Mitch Trubisky as the starter barring a sudden change of mind by coach Mike Tomlin in the next day or so.
That’s unlikely because it was Tomlin who benched Trubisky in favor of Pickett in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets.
That move didn’t seal Trubisky’s demotion for the rest of the season but certainly made it harder for Tomlin to backtrack and return to his former starter.
It is unclear if Tomlin intends to stick with Pickett the rest of the season and allow him to learn and grow, including perhaps through some rough patches, or if this decision can be revisited depending on how the rookie performs — or doesn’t.
Pickett Is Popular In Pittsburgh
Pickett played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh and is popular among the Steelers fan base so this decision will be warmly greeted.
Pickett completed 10 of 13 passes and scored two rushing touchdowns once he was in the game against the New York Jets. He threw three interceptions but two of those could have easily gone for catches because they were in his receivers’ hands before bounding off and being snatched by defenders.
Trubisky, signed as a free agent in the offseason, has completed under 60 percent of his passes and his 5.2 yard per attempt average ranks 32nd in the NFL. Trubisky has thrown only 2 interceptions but hasn’t really moved the Steelers offense, which is why he has only 2 TD passes in 3 1/2 games.
Tomlin is expected to announce his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game at Buffalo on Tuesday.
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