Trubisky, a former first-round pick for the Bears in 2017, started 50 games for the team in his four seasons in the Windy City, finishing with a 29-21 overall record in regular season play. While things didn’t work out for Trubisky in the Windy City, the 28-year-old QB always displayed exemplary leadership on the field and off, and there were never any reported issues between him and/or his former Bears teammates.
After spending a year as a backup for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in 2021, Trubisky won the starting job in Pittsburgh to start the regular season, but he was benched in the middle of the team’s Week 4 loss to the New York Jets.
One Steelers insider has just revealed details as to why.
Mitch Trubisky & WR Diontae Johnson Had ‘Heated Exchange’ According to Report
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on October 17 that “Trubisky was benched against the Jets following a locker room confrontation at halftime with receiver Diontae Johnson.”
Per Dulac: “Johnson began yelling at Trubisky to throw him the ball more, even though Johnson had a pass skip off his hands that resulted in an interception and failed to get his feet inbounds on what would have been a 23-yard touchdown in the first half. Trubisky stood up to Johnson and a heated exchange occurred. That’s when (rookie QB Kenny) Pickett was told he would start the second half.”
Pickett was named the team’s starter after that, and he started Pittsburgh’s 38-3 Week 5 loss to the Bills. He went down with a concussion midway through his second start the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Trubisky came in and played extremely well in relief, leading Pittsburgh to a 20-18 win. Trubisky went 9-12 for 144 yards, a touchdown and a rating of 142.4 in the victory.
Dulac also noted it’s possible Trubisky could win the starting QB spot back from Pickett, although Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did say on October 18 that should Pickett clear concussion protocol, the rookie QB would get the nod over Mitch Week 7.
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Commented on the Trubisky-Johnson Situation
The Steelers head coach was also asked about the incident between Trubisky and Johnson, and he neither confirmed nor denied it.
“If it were (true), do you think that I would share it with you in this environment? Probably not. Our business is our business,” Tomlin said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.
“I understand in today’s climate, oftentimes there’s leaks,” Tomlin added. “I’m not gonna acknowledge it or confirm it or deny it in these settings. I’m just not, I ain’t got enough hours of my day for it. The things that happen among competitors from time to time is normal business. Everyone wants to win. If it transpired, it’s good. It probably means there’s a couple guys that wanted to win. If it didn’t transpire, it probably means that it should have because we are aggressively pursuing victory. Sometimes that’s emotional.”
In his four years with the Bears, Trubisky completed 64% of his passes for 10,609 yards, 67 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. The veteran QB was known for his even-keeled demeanor and was never known to have shouting matches with others in the locker room, so hearing reports of a tiff with Johnson is a tad surprising.
We’ll see if the former second overall pick gets another shot to lead the way for the Steelers this year.