Steelers Insider Questions Handling of Kenny Pickett’s Head Injury

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett concussed

Joe Sargent/Getty Images Quarterback Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by Roquan Smith of the Baltimore Ravens on December 11, 2022.

On Sunday Dec. 11, 2022, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett made the ninth start of his NFL career. But for the second time in nine starts he failed to finish a game after being placed in concussion protocol.

At the end of Pittsburgh’s first drive of the game against the Baltimore Ravens, Pickett was spun around and slammed to the ground by inside linebacker Roquan Smith, necessitating a trip to the medical tent. He was cleared to return to action after being evaluated for a concussion and re-entered the game for a second drive — a three-and-out.

But Pickett failed to come out for Pittsburgh’s third offensive drive, after which the Steelers announced that he had been placed in concussion protocol and ruled out for the remainder of the game.

That prompted longtime Steelers insider Gerry Dulac to question why Pickett was allowed back into the contest for one series?

This question is likely to be debated extensively in the coming days, especially in light of the controversy that surrounded the handling of a pair of head injuries suffered by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa earlier this season.

Meanwhile, some observers questioned whether the Ravens should have been penalized for unnecessary roughness on the sack that concussed Pickett.

Pickett did not complete a pass before leaving the Ravens game, though he did rush the ball two times for 16 yards.

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett Was Concussed Against the Bucs in October

It’s the second time this season that Kenny Pickett has spent time in the concussion protocol. He suffered a concussion during a 20-18 home victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in mid-October but returned to the lineup the following week.

Following is the hit that led to Pickett’s concussion against Tampa Bay:

Steelers left guard Kevin Dotson said he received death threats in the wake of the Buccaneers game, in which he committed three penalties — two holding penalties and a false start — and was responsible for the sack that got Pickett concussed.

Ravens QB Tyler Huntley in Concussion Protocol, Too

Notably, Baltimore starting quarterback Tyler Huntley was also removed from Sunday’s Ravens-Steelers game and placed in concussion protocol. Huntley completed eight of 12 passes for 88 yards before he was relieved by undrafted rookie free agent Anthony Brown (Oregon), who made his NFL debut. Brown attempted just five passes, completing three for 16 yards. Yet Baltimore managed to snap its four-game losing streak against the Steelers with a 16-14 win.

Meanwhile, it was Steelers backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky who came on in relief of Pickett against the Ravens. He initially sparked Pittsburgh’s offense with a 42-yard completion to rookie wide receiver George Pickens, but threw three interceptions before the end of the third quarter. All told, Trubisky completed 22 of 30 passes for 276 yards with one touchdown and the aforementioned three INTs (73.1 passer rating).

Turnovers aside, the game was won and lost in the trenches. The Ravens rushed the ball 42 times for 215 yards and a touchdown (5.1 yards per rush). The Steelers managed just 20 carries for 65 yards and a TD, an average of 3.3 yards per carry.

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Mona Lynn
Mona Lynn
5 months ago

That’s what I’d like to know….why wasn’t there a penalty called on Roquan Smith ? Pickett should never have been allowed to go back in the game.

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