With the 2023 season inching closer to the end, the Pittsburgh Steelers could not afford to lose one of their top players to a significant injury in the middle of their attempt to capture a playoff spot in the AFC.
But that’s exactly what happened during Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, as Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett had to leave the game in the second quarter after suffering a high ankle sprain.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin already revealed that Pickett has undergone surgery to repair his injury and that the quarterback will not be available for Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots.
Following the news of Pickett being unable to play, Tomlin was asked about his confidence level in the team’s current quarterback situation heading into their matchup with the Patriots.
In true Tomlin fashion, his answer didn’t feature an ounce of doubt in what Pittsburgh is capable of doing on Thursday (via Christopher Carter on Twitter).
Mike Tomlin on confidence in #Steelers winning with their current QB situation: "I'm comfortable for our team to prepare and win this football game. I live one week at a time."
— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) December 4, 2023
Following Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, the Steelers are now sitting with a 7-5 record with five games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
If the season ended after Sunday, Pittsburgh would enter the 2023 playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the AFC, and they would travel to the Midwest to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in a first-round postseason matchup.
Getting wins will be a little more difficult without Pickett, but Tomlin clearly believes the rest of his team has enough talent to accomplish what needs to happen in order for the team to earn a spot in this season’s playoffs.