Mike Tomlin: The door is "definitively ajar" for Kenny Pickett to play on Thursday

The Steelers may have their starting quarterback for Thursday's game against the Titans. But they won't have one of their best defensive players.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said in his Monday press conference that "the door is definitively ajar" for Kenny Pickett to play, despite suffering a rib injury on Sunday.

"Probably will be a game-time-type decision, based on the information that I’m holding here today with no structural damage and so forth to his ribs," Tomlin said. "So, we’ll see how we’ll go through the week — his ability to throw, his level of comfort, his ability of effectiveness, etc., and let that be our guide in terms of determining his availability."

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, however, will miss Thursday's game with a hamstring injury. Tomlin noted that he didn't have a firm timeline for Fitzpatrick's return, but it's clear the safety won't be ready to play on a short week.

Tomlin called the loss of Fitzpatrick "significant," noting it's a "multi-man job" to replace the safety from a playmaking and communication standpoint.

The Steelers could get back defensive lineman Cam Heyward and running back Anthony McFarland this week, as Tomlin said Pittsburgh is considering designating the players to return and beginning their 21-day practice windows.

While the Steelers won't practice on Monday, they will issue their first injury report of the short week.