Dec 16, 2022, 9:00:30 PMyebscore

Steelers not ready to name starting QB vs. Panthers

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn't ready to declare a starting quarterback for Sunday's game at Carolina. Rookie starter Kenny Pickett is in concussion protocol and doubtful to play. Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph both have worked with the first team in his absence, and Tomlin told reporters Friday he has "some clarity" about his QB situation. "There's just no need to land the plane until it's required to land the plane," Tomlin said. "I like the work that we've gotten from Mitch and Mason this week. Both guys have split reps and seen enough situations, and not only what they've done this week, but the totality of what they've done makes us extremely comfortable in terms of considering both guys." Trubisky took over last week in a 16-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens after Pickett exited. He was 22-of-30 passing for 276 yards and a touchdown. But he threw three crucial interceptions. "Just got to make a better decisions, just got to protect the football," Trubisky said. "Made some really good throws out there. We moved the ball up and down the field, but obviously I got to take care of the football, especially down (in) the red zone so we can come away (with) the points. I'm looking forward to bouncing back this week and getting that opportunity." Rudolph, formerly the backup to retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, has been inactive in all 13 games for the Steelers (5-8), but wide receiver Diontae Johnson said Rudolph should get a chance against the Panthers (5-8) if Pickett doesn't play. "Yeah, I want to see him play," Johnson said Thursday, per ESPN. "I know he's ready to play. I know it's probably in the back of his mind like, 'Dang, when I'm going get my chance?' I feel like this week is it for him. I know he's going to do everything it takes to be prepared this week, get ready for Sunday." Rudolph said this week he was happy to put in meaningful practice time. "That first play called being back in the huddle and calling plays with the starting offense was fun," Rudolph said. "And I think I shook off the rust relatively quickly, so it was a good day." Rudolph, 27, has appeared in 17 games (10 starts) since the Steelers selected him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has thrown for 2,366 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completing 61.5 percent of his pass attempts. --Field Level Media