As the Pittsburgh Steelers take to the practice field for the final time before they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins on Sunday night, Steelers Senior Director of Communication Burt Lawuten has announced that Kenny Pickett, Pat Freiermuth, and Levi Wallace have all cleared the NFL concussion protocol.
#Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth, QB Kenny Pickett and CB Levi Wallace have been cleared and are no longer in concussion protocol.— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 21, 2022
Both Pat Freiermuth and Levi Wallace missed the Steelers Week 6 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they were still in the protocol. Freiermuth practiced all three days leading up to the Buccaneers game in a limited capacity but did not come out of the protocol. As for Wallace, he participated in the limited fashion the final two practices of the week. For this week, both players have been full participants in every practice.
A lot has been made out of Kenny Pickett returning to play after being placed in the concussion protocol in the third quarter of the Steelers game against Tampa on Sunday. Being able to participate fully in practice on Wednesday, it is unclear which of the five phases of the concussion protocol Pickett was in when he took the practice field on Wednesday. With the Steelers not practicing in pads, Pickett could have been in Phase 4 yet still could have participated in all activities because there was no contact.
Coming out of the protocol, Kenny Pickett is now slated to start this Sunday night against the Dolphins. In his press conference on Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said as long as Pickett was able to participate in practice and was clear of the protocol he would be the starter.
“It’s my understanding that his work won’t be limited in any way in preparation, and so we’ll adhere to the protocol,and we’ll follow that and let that be our guide in terms of participation,” Tomlin stated on Tuesday. “I’ll say this: If he’s cleared to play, he’ll play. He’ll play quarterback for us.”
While some have shown displeasure about Kenny Pickett moving through the protocol so quickly, mainly those from the Miami Dolphins side of things, it is not that the protocol has not been followed properly but that, as stated in the protocol itself, every case is different. For a more thorough breakdown of the new concussion protocol standards, check out the latest Steelers Stat Geek podcast in which it was explained:
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Steelers continue their preparation‘s to face the Dolphins this Sunday night in Miami.