Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett is the starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers, unseating Mitchell Trubisky atop the depth chart entering Week 5.
Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed the move Tuesday on the heels of turning to Pickett in the second half of last week’s loss to the New York Jets.
The Steelers face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and are in their first season since 2004 without Ben Roethlisberger entrenched at quarterback.
“He’s a gamer. That’s why they drafted him in the first round,” Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth said of Pickett.
Pickett rushed for two touchdowns and threw three interceptions in place of Trubisky on the same field where he starred for Pitt, but the Steelers lost 24-20 to the Jets.
With the Steelers trailing 10-6 at halftime, Tomlin turned to Pickett after Trubisky went 7-for-13 passing for 84 yards and an interception.
“We just thought we needed a spark,” Tomlin said. “We didn’t do much in the first half, not enough offensively and thought he could provide a spark for us.”
Pickett, 24, went 10-for-13 passing for 120 yards. He was the 20th overall pick in the draft after throwing for 12,303 yards and 81 touchdowns in five seasons at Pitt.
“Obviously, it’s a rebuilding year,” Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson told reporters Sunday. “We can’t use that as an excuse. It doesn’t matter who is at quarterback or any position. It’s our job to get it done and win games. That’s what we have to do — win.”
–Field Level Media