Most NFL analysts agree that Mitch Trubisky will be the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ starting quarterback in 2022.
Trubisky, who was signed by Pittsburgh as a free agent earlier this offseason, has the most starting experience of any quarterback on the Steelers’ roster.
But while Trubisky is likely going to be the guy in 2022, the hope for Pittsburgh is that Kenny Pickett, the team’s first-round draft pick back in April, will be the Steelers’ long-term answer at quarterback.
So when could Pickett get his shot?
ESPN’s Brook Pryor believes there are two specific weeks in 2022 when Pickett could get the start under center for Pittsburgh.
She thinks it could either be week 10 (after the Steelers’ bye week) or week 18, the final game of the year.
Pryor noted that she thinks week 18 is the more likely scenario.
Truthfully, I have two weeks circled as possible 2022 NFL debuts for Pickett. The first is Week 10 vs. the Saints after the bye. If Trubisky isn’t performing, the bye gives the Steelers a natural break to make a starting quarterback change. But if Trubisky is playing well, there’s no point in making a change at that juncture.
The second — and more likely — date is Week 18. Even in years in which the Steelers weren’t supposed to be part of the playoff conversation, they’ve still had a fighting chance late in the season. This season might not be any different, and as long as Trubisky isn’t losing the team games, it makes sense to stick with him. But if Week 18 turns into a formality game with nothing on the line but bragging rights, then the Steelers might give Pickett a taste of an AFC North rivalry game.
I think Pryor is probably spot on with her predictions.
The Steelers won’t be quick to bench Trubisky, but if he’s struggling by the midpoint of the season, they could definitely look to make the switch.
However, based on what we saw during Trubisky’s time with the Chicago Bears, I don’t think that will be the case. Trubisky played well with the Bears, he was just in a terrible situation under then-Chicago head coach Matt Nagy. I don’t know that he’ll turn into a Pro-Bowler in Pittsburgh, but I think he’ll be better than what we saw when he was with the Bears.
The Steelers have plenty of uncertainty at quarterback entering the 2022 season, but they’re also fortunate to have a couple of quality options with upside.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports