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Steelers' Kenny Pickett on Shaq Lawson Altercation: 'He Went After My Knee'

Erin WalshOctober 9, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football gameagainst the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. The Bills won 38-3. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett got hit low by Shaq Lawson, and the rookie signal-caller let the Bills pass-rusher know how he felt about it.

After the tackle, Pickett got up and shoved Lawson, which eventually led to a scrum.

Speaking with reporters after the game, Pickett said he felt that the veteran defensive end went after his knee.

"That's it. You know, tempers flare. I don't care, I'm gonna keep playing to the last play of the game. That was it. All good with me," Pickett said.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also backed his quarterback after the 38-3 loss to Buffalo, saying Pickett had an "appropriate" response to the tackle.

Considering the deficit and the nature of the hit, it's not hard to see why Pickett was frustrated.

The rookie signal-caller was also on the receiving end of another hit by Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin in the third quarter. When Pickett began to slide, Hamlin hit him before offensive lineman James Daniels shoved Hamlin in support of his quarterback.

Tomlin said he believed Hamlin, a Pittsburgh-area native and Pickett's former college teammate, should have been called for roughing the passer.

"I had a problem that the officials didn't have a problem, not necessarily Hamlin. I love Ham. He a 412-er," Tomlin said, referencing the local area code. "He plays hard. He's a good kid. I had a problem with the fact that it wasn't officiated in a way that I anticipated it being officiated."

Despite not throwing a touchdown, Pickett had a decent day in his first start, completing 34 of 52 passes for 327 yards and an interception.

Sunday's loss marked Pittsburgh's fourth consecutive defeat. The Steelers have not won a game since a Week 1 overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the frustration appears to be boiling over.

Pittsburgh has a tough schedule, too, with games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles on tap. If the team can't sort things out, things could take a turn for the worse.

Tomlin acknowledged after Sunday's loss that he would consider making staff changes and alterations to the starting lineup. It will be interesting to see how the franchise shakes things up.

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