Kenny Pickett taking over as Steelers QB, Mitch Trubisky benched

Well, that didn’t take long.

The Steelers are expected to replace veteran quarterback Mitch Trubisky as their starter after less than four full games in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Pickett, who was selected 20th overall by the Steelers in April’s NFL Draft, will likely make his first start on Sunday against the Bills in Buffalo.

Trubisky, the second-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, spent last season in Buffalo as Josh Allen’s backup before signing a two-year, $14.25 million deal with the Steelers in March. He spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Chicago with the Bears.

Steelers quarterbacks Kenny Pickett (#8) and Mitch Trubisky (#10) warm up on Oct. 2, 2022.
Steelers quarterbacks Kenny Pickett (#8) and Mitch Trubisky (#10) warm up on Oct. 2, 2022.

Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky readies to throw on Oct. 2, 2022, against the Jets.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky readies to throw on Oct. 2, 2022, against the Jets.

Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky looks to pass against the Jets on Oct. 2, 2022.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky looks to pass against the Jets on Oct. 2, 2022.

Though Trubisky, 28, and the Steelers captured a surprise Week 1 upset against division rival and reigning AFC champion Bengals. Pittsburgh faltered in its past three outings, including Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Jets.

Trubisky, who threw for 84 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception on Sunday, was benched at halftime, paving the way for Pickett, 24, to make his NFL debut.

“He said 8’s in at halftime,” Trubisky recalled of head coach Mike Tomlin’s decision, per Fan Nation. “That’s all he said.”

Upon entering the game, Pickett completed 10 of 13 attempts for 120 yards and three interceptions while running for two touchdowns. Tomlin said postgame that he believed Pickett “could provide” that much-needed “spark.”

Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett scrambles against the Jets on Oct. 2, 2022.
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett scrambles against the Jets on Oct. 2, 2022.

Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett runs with the ball on Oct. 2, 2022.
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett runs with the ball on Oct. 2, 2022.

“I thought we needed a spark, man,” Tomlin said. “We didn’t do much in the first half, not enough offensively, and I thought he could provide a spark for us.”

Leading up to the regular season, Pickett — who played at the University of Pittsburgh — shined in the Steelers’ three preseason games, throwing for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

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