Kenny Pickett to undergo ankle surgery; Steelers QB not expected to be placed on IR

Pittsburgh won’t have its starting quarterback for most of the stretch run, but the door is open for a return this season.

Kenny Pickett is set for ankle surgery on Monday, but the Steelers are not expected to place the QB on injured reserve, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Good Morning Football, per sources.

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Rapoport added that the surgery is described to him as a “tightrope-type” that would typically be done on a high ankle sprain. Pickett will miss Thursday’s home game against the New England Patriots and potentially longer, however, the Steelers are holding out hope for him to come back before the final game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18, per Rapoport.

Pickett injured his ankle in the second half of the Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals after a scramble up the middle for a 2-yard gain near the goal line. He was initially deemed questionable before being ruled out at halftime. 

Pickett played through shin and rib injuries at separate junctures earlier this season, but he won’t be able to soldier through this one. It’s a significant injury and a potentially significant blow to Pittsburgh’s playoff aspirations.

Mitchell Trubisky, who came on in relief of Pickett Sunday, is expected to get the start Thursday versus New England. Whether the Steelers can maintain their postseason hopes remains to be seen.

At 7-5, they are the No. 5 seed in the AFC, but it’s a precarious position as they’re one of four 7-5 AFC squads just ahead of two 6-6 squads.

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