In a setback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Kenny Pickett is expected to be sidelined for “a couple of weeks” due to a right ankle injury sustained during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, according to a league source. This injury puts the spotlight on backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who is set to take the reins in Pickett’s absence.
Pickett’s Unfortunate Injury History
This isn’t the first time Pickett has faced injury adversity this season. In Week 8, he suffered a ribs injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars but remarkably returned just four days later to face the Tennessee Titans in the team’s first Thursday night game. Pickett, a consistent starter since early in his rookie season, has been remarkably durable, with his last missed start dating back to Week 15 last season due to a concussion.
Trubisky Takes the Helm
With Pickett on the sidelines, the responsibility falls on Mitch Trubisky to lead the Steelers’ offense. Trubisky showcased his capabilities in relief during Sunday’s game, finishing 11-of-17 for 117 yards and a touchdown. However, a lost fumble added a bitter note to his performance.
The Impact on Steelers’ Defense
The Steelers not only face a quarterback predicament but also significant defensive challenges. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who returned after a month, broke his left hand during the game. Despite the injury, Fitzpatrick intends to play in the upcoming Thursday game against the New England Patriots.
Pickett’s Departure Alters Game Dynamics
Pickett’s injury occurred during a critical moment in the game when he scrambled for the end zone and was tackled from behind by Cardinals defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter. Trubisky took over, but the Steelers failed to convert on a fourth-and-goal play, leading to a 99-yard scoring drive by the Cardinals.
Defensive Struggles Compound Steelers’ Woes
The Steelers faced additional blows with injuries to inside linebacker Elandon Roberts and guard Isaac Seumalo in the first half. Roberts’ absence affected defensive communication, contributing to the Steelers allowing the Cardinals a season-high 10 third-down conversions.
Despite the challenges, Coach Mike Tomlin emphasizes the need for improvement, acknowledging that the team “just weren’t good enough throughout the game” and highlighting the importance of addressing non-talent issues such as penalties and defensive organization.
As the Steelers prepare for a Thursday clash with the Patriots, the absence of Pickett raises questions about the team’s offensive strategy. Trubisky, now thrust into a starting role, faces the challenge of steering the Steelers to victory in a crucial matchup.
In a season riddled with injuries, the Steelers must rally and adapt to the changing dynamics. The resilience of the team, especially in the absence of key players, will be put to the test as they aim to overcome adversity and stay competitive in the playoff race.
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