The Ravens are leading the AFC North all by themselves after cooking a 3-1 record through four weeks of play cominb off the trouncing of the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. The Steelers are an even 2-2 entering Week 5 and trying to keep their spirits up.
The day started with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reporting "optimism" by the Steelers in having Pickett available for their divisional Week 5 matchup against the Ravens.
"There's optimism around Kenny Pickett being able to handle enough practice this week to play Baltimore," Fowler wrote. "The Steelers will gauge his left knee comfort daily, but the sense is Mitch Trubisky is not on high alert preparing to start."
Then, Wednesday's practice got rolling in Pittsburgh and more "positive" news started to pop up out of the Steelers HQ.
According to the very own man, per CBS, he felt "good, good."
Pickett surely made it sound like he's determined to hit the field running (ha!) against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, despite a bone bruise (not an ACL, not an MCl, not seemingly nothing even remotely concerning...) in his left knee suffered in Week 4.
Pickett sounded confident, stating (h/ Christopher Carter), “I’ll be ready to go by Sunday." Bold statement, Kenny.
During Wednesday's practice, Pickett sported a bulky knee brace (h/t Bligtzburgh) and discussed uncertainties about wearing it during the upcoming game, which would undoubtedly limit his scrambling/rushing/overall mobility in the Steelers' pocket.
Picket said he trusts the medical plan devised with team doctors and trainers, stating "I’m confident with the plan that we have by Sunday."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin provided updates on other injuries, confirming LT Dan Moore Jr.'s absence in Week 5 due to a knee injury and basically ruling TE Pat Freiermuth out for Sunday's game against the Ravens.
This is all great for the Steelers and their fans, but the truth is that Pickett 1) didn't look any good leaving the field early last Sunday and 2) could very well be playing some mind games on the Ravens just to keep head coach John Harbaugh guessing ahead of Week 5.
It's fair to assume that the Steelers won't risk a setback suffered by Pickett mostly because the team is on a bye week following next Sunday, which would give their QB1 nearly three weeks of rehab from last Sunday to the next game they play in Week 7.
Reports have suggested that Mitch Trubisky (who will start in Week 5, don't doubt it) has not taken heavy reps or a bulkier load in practices this week looking at a potential start next Sunday.
That was also the case last weekend with the Browns, Deshaun Watson, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson... and look who ended up starting and who was scratched.
Kudos to Tomlin and his young quarterback for trying to fool us all. Too bad for them, we've gone through this type of thing an infinite amount of times. It won't cut it, folks, it won't cut it.