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Steelers' Kenny Pickett Expected to Start Week 7 After Clearing Concussion Protocol

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 21, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 16: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms-up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Acrisure Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is expected to start Sunday's contest against the Miami Dolphins after clearing concussion protocol from an injury he suffered in the team's last game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per ESPN's Brooke Pryor.

Cornerback Levi Wallace and tight end Pat Freiermuth also cleared concussion protocol and will likely take the field against Tampa Bay.

Pickett took first-team reps during practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and his return shifts Mitch Trubisky back to the second-stringer role.

Trubisky entered the Week 6 win over Tampa Bay after Pickett suffered the concussion and played well on his way to 9-of-12 passing for 144 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

His touchdown pass to Chase Claypool in the fourth quarter helped open up an eight-point lead, and Pittsburgh's defense stopped Tampa Bay's two-point conversion after its late touchdown to preserve the 20-18 win.

Trubisky started the first four games of the season but gave way to Pickett during the Week 4 loss to the New York Jets.

The rookie then started against the Buffalo Bills and Buccaneers and will presumably be the starter this season as long as he is healthy. He has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 514 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions, although he scored twice on the ground against the Jets.

Pittsburgh is just 2-4 on the season and could have an eye on the future after selecting Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick of the 2022 NFL draft.

More experience this year will presumably help his preparation for future seasons when the Steelers may be in a better position to compete, although they are only one game behind the 3-3 Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North.

If the rookie can demonstrate a bit more consistency as a thrower while garnering that additional experience this season, the Steelers could make a playoff run despite a lackluster start to the campaign.

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