The Pittsburgh Steelers kick off their 2023 preseason with a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Friday night. HC Mike Tomlin announced that fans can expect to see the starters in the Week 1 preseason game, as long as they’re healthy.
Coach Tomlin said "all that are healthy will play" on Friday....how much is another story.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) August 9, 2023
As Missi noted, it’s not a lock that we’ll see extended playing time from anyone. So yes, though Steelers QB Kenny Pickett will play, it probably won’t be for long while the team looks to protect the second-year player, poised to make a second-year jump in 2023.
Last year, we saw plenty of starters get work in the team’s Week 1 preseason game against the Jaguars, with presumed starter Mitch Trubisky in for two drives before being subbed out for “backup” Mason Rudolph, and eventually, then-rookie Kenny Pickett who played in the whole second half.
Though the Steelers are likely to want to limit the chance of injury, this remains a relatively young offense that can definitely benefit from live game reps. We can probably expect to see second-year QB Kenny Pickett for one or two drives, depending on how smoothly those initial reps play out.