Head coach Mike Tomlin announced the news Monday afternoon, saying that Pickett would not play on Thursday against the New England Patriots. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pickett will be out 2-4 weeks.
Pickett injured his ankle with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. He was pulled down to the ground while running under pressure, but it wasn't obvious whether the takedown caused the injury or if it was non-contact. He had also reportedly been dealing with a right ankle issue coming into Week 13.
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Pickett walked off under his own power but in visible pain. Backup Mitch Trubisky replaced him and stayed in for the rest of the game. Pickett reappeared on the sideline later wearing a walking boot. The Steelers lost 24-10, giving the Cardinals their third win of the season.
Losing Pickett is no small thing for the Steelers, whose season had been trending upward since the firing of offensive coordinator Matt Canada after Week 11. They beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12 using offensive schemes that had been abandoned under Canada, and Week 13 was a chance for them to continue to improve while beating up on a struggling team like the Cardinals. Instead, they had a dismal offensive showing and lost their starting QB in the process.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that Pickett will not be going on injured reserve, which would force him to miss the next four games and effectively end his season. With Pittsburgh currently 7-5, that's the last thing the team wants. The Steelers are second in the AFC North and are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. And since they're facing the first-place Baltimore Ravens in Week 18, they want the option to start Pickett if he's ready.