Kenny Pickett Breaks Silence On Rumors That He Refused To Dress For Steelers As Backup Quarterback

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Kenny Pickett
Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett has been the subject of a lot of chatter around the NFL over the last few days. The 25-year-old quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers finally broke his silence on all of the discussion!

Pickett, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, underwent TightRope surgery for a high ankle sprain on Dec. 4. Mason Rudolph and Mitchell Trubisky took over at signal-caller in his absence.

However, Pickett was medically cleared to play prior to Week 17 and still did not start. Not only did he not return to the QB1 role, he did not dress at all.

As a result of his inactive status, rumors started to swirl. Speculation suggested that Pickett might have refused to dress if he was not going to be named the starting quarterback.

That is untrue.

“It was either: I was going to start and play,” Pickett said after his mysterious absence, “or if they didn’t think I was good enough to do that, healthy enough, I was going to be the 3 and not dress.”

A decision was ultimately made for the latter of the two options. He did not appreciate how people “attacked his character and how he is as a person.” Pickett saw all of the discussion being had about his role.

“There was no talk of me being a backup quarterback this week in terms of being a 2,” Pickett continued. “If I was healthy enough to play, and the trainers and coaches felt like I looked good enough to play, I was going to start and play. If they believed that I was not — which they believed I was not — I was not going to dress and suit up for the game.”

Nothing else went into the decision. Whomever first reported that Pickett refused to serve in the backup role was wrong.

“I don’t know where it started,” he said. “It’s kind of crazy what people will write and put out there to try and prove their point or help their standpoint or their careers and what you guys do. But disappointed to see that without any proof or basis of it.”

In addition to his repeated denial, Kenny Pickett provided an update on his (and his team’s) plan for Week 18.

“This week I’m now the 2,” he said. “They feel good four weeks out of the surgery for me to dress and be the 2. So I’ll be the 2 and do what I have to do to be ready to go for Baltimore.”

Is there more at play here? Perhaps. It seems like all of the rumors and reports were much ado about nothing. However, if there was some drama going on behind the scenes, the Steelers wouldn’t let it out!