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Mike Tomlin plans to return to Kenny Pickett as Steelers host Raiders in Week 16

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be going back to their rookie quarterback as they host the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Eve.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing on a short week as they host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16 on Christmas Eve. The nationally televised game will carry some extra weight considering it will be the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, and Franco Harris, among many other former Steelers and Raiders, will be in attendance to celebrate the event which took place in 1972.

Outside of the festivities, the Steelers are a team looking to win out and keep their razor thin playoff hopes alive. To do so, they’ll need as many healthy bodies as possible, and the big name fans are curious about is at quarterback.

Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett missed the Week 15 win over the Carolina Panthers while being in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and Mitch Trubisky played well in his stead. Nonetheless, during Mike Tomlin’s Tuesday press conference he reiterated what many who pay attention already knew.

When Pickett is healthy, he is the team’s quarterback.

That is exactly what Tomlin said Tuesday, stating that all he had to do was check a proverbial box to be fully cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol. He went on to say if the team were to practice Tuesday, which their injury report on a short week is an estimation, he would be a full participant in the workout.

Pickett isn’t the only player who might be dealing with some injuries heading into Week 16. Other injuries noted by Tomlin were to safety Terrell Edmunds who is dealing with a hamstring injury. Tomlin said the injury could slow Edmunds in the early portions of the week.

Other injuries of note are wide receiver Diontae Johnson dealing with some type of a turf toe injury, and fullback Derek Watt battling through an ankle injury. Tomlin said he is not expecting these injuries to extend into the latter portions of the work week, where it could hinder their overall availability for Saturday night’s game.

Myles Jack, who was inactive for the game vs. the Panthers last week, would be considered limited in the estimated injury report as he continues to deal with a groin injury. Another player who missed practice time last week was Pat Freiermuth who is dealing with a foot injury. Tomlin didn’t have much of an update, stating “we’ll see tomorrow”, but the Steelers do anticipate him playing in Week 16.

The Steelers turn their attention away from the win over the Panthers, and quickly to the Raiders game, where temperatures at kickoff (8:00 p.m. ET) are estimated to be in the single-digits, with wind chills to be in the negative degree range. Should be a classic matchup between two historic rivals. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the remaining games of the 2022 regular season.

For a complete rundown of Mike Tomlin’s time with the media, check out BTSC’s Press Conference Recap podcast below: