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Kenny Pickett was on the wrong end of a vicious facemask during Sunday’s game against the Ravens. The officiating crew failed to throw a flag despite the clear and egregious penalty.
Early in the first quarter, on 3rd-and-4, Pickett took the snap and was immediately forced to escape the pocket as the Steelers offensive line completely collapsed. Baltimore linebacker Patrick Queen was first into the backfield and appeared to have the quarterback wrapped up for an eight-yard loss.
Kenny Pickett was able to escape, but not for long.
Barely able to keep his balance, the first-round draft pick was immediately met by Roquan Smith. He never stood a chance of throwing the ball away or getting up field.
Smith bear-hugged Pickett and violently threw him down. As he did, the latter’s head hit the turf— hard.
Pickett was slow to get up and rolled around on the ground for a moment before getting back to his feet.
During the tackle, Smith’s hand was all up in Pickett’s face. He grabbed the quarterback’s facemask and used it as a leverage point to help wrap up and slam him down.
Smith’s hand was holding onto Pickett’s facemask from the moment he made contact until the moment the play was dead. It should have been flagged. A penalty was warranted and should have been called.
After getting up from the play and heading to the sideline, Pickett went into the injury tent.
Not long thereafter, he tried to give it a go.
However, when the offense went back out onto the field on the next drive, Mitchell Trubisky was in at quarterback. Pickett wasn’t on the sideline.
Pickett was in the locker room under concussion protocol. Moments later, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game.