It's been an eventful start to the final week of the regular season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a rumor surfaced that Kenny Pickett refused to be the number two quarterback this past week in Seattle, the frustrated quarterback insisted there was no truth to the story.
Mike Tomlin's team plays on Saturday and Kenny Pickett will backup Mason Rudolph this week -- who has strung together back-to-back solid performances. As we quickly approach Pittsburgh's season finale, fans are given reason to be optimistic against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Here's the latest Steelers news.
With their final regular season game being played on Saturday, the Steelers started practice a day early this week. On Tuesday, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Elandon Roberts both sat out. Minkah has missed multiple weeks with a knee injury while Roberts has been nursing his way back from a pectoral injury. On Wednesday, however, both Fitzpatrick and Roberts were spotted on the practice field.
This is an excellent sign for a team that has struggled mightily in the back half of their defense. While Pittsburgh's offense improves, their shaky linebacker pairing and porous secondary have been exploited.
The Steelers will still be missing key players like Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander -- who both suffered season-ending injuries halfway through the year, but the additions of Minkah and Roberts would be huge for this team in the season finale on the road against the Ravens in Week 18. Keep an eye out to see if they both log a full practice on Thursday.
More Steelers news
Apparently, Kenny Pickett has not been demoted... at least not according to the Pittsburgh Steelers' official depth chart. According to the team website, Pickett is still listed as the first-string quarterback with Mason Rudolph penciled in as the second-string QB.
Mike Tomlin already announced that Rudolph will be the starter this week for Pittsburgh, and many wondered if Pickett was healthy enough to return to the field for Week 18. If the Steelers happen to make it into the playoffs, the biggest storyline will be: who will be starting at quarterback? It's likely that, with another strong performance, Rudolph will remain in the driver's seat for a potential playoff game.
In NFL.com's updated playoff picture, the Pittsburgh Steelers are given just a 29 percent chance of making it to the postseason this year. Seven AFC teams have now officially been eliminated -- including the Bengals and Broncos. The Steelers are one of just two teams (the Texans being the other) who are still on the bubble but haven't been eliminated.
There are technically five different scenarios for the Steelers to make the path, but some require select games to end in a tie. However, the most likely route to enter the tournament is via a Steelers win and a loss by either the Jaguars or Bills this Sunday. Stay tuned!