Mitch Trubisky will be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, with first choice Kenny Pickett not yet ready to return after undergoing ankle surgery.
Pickett was forced to undergo surgery on a high ankle sprain he suffered during the Steelers’ Week 13 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals, having already played through shin and rib injuries earlier this season.
Trubisky struggled upon stepping in to face the New England Patriots on Thursday, throwing for 22-of-35 with 190 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception as the Pats earned just their third win of the season.
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However, the 29-year-old will get his second start of the year in Indianapolis with Pickett not yet able to return, though head coach Mike Tomlin has previous said he expects his quarterback to appear again this campaign.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Tomlin said of Trubisky’s showing against New England: “Mitch picked up his play as the game wore on.
“I think it’s a reasonable expectation for him to be even better because of that experience, and because of the experience of having a full week’s prep this week… in-helmet reps, full-speed reps.”
Coach Tomlin speaks to the media ahead of our Week 15 game against the Colts. @PNCBank
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 11, 2023
The Steelers also have a potential problem in their defensive line with star linebacker T.J. Watt being placed in the concussion protocol after receiving a knee to the face on the first play of Thursday’s game.
Watt returned just two snaps later but reported concussion symptoms the following day, causing him to be placed in the protocol.
The decision to leave Watt in the game has attracted criticism in recent days, with questions over whether the necessary concussion checks were carried out.
Asked if he believed Watt was properly assessed, Tomlin said: “I assume that he was, but again, I’m managing the game.
“I leave that to the medical experts. They essentially tell me whether someone is out, whether they’re subject to return or whether they’re back.
“I got a report that [Watt] was subject to return and then I got a report that he was back and that was just my knowledge of what transpired with him during the time that he was out.”