Was George Pickens just caught in a lie about a bizarre Instagram 'like'?

Whatever just happened, it's not the best look for George Pickens.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

After a nearly perfect 2023 preseason performance from George Pickens, this is not the start we were hoping for from the uber-talented second-year Steelers receiver. Against the 49ers in Week 1, Pickens was very much a non-factor. However, it wasn't the lack of production that was concerning. It was his visible frustration on the field.

By the end of the game, had racked up a mere 36 yards on 7 targets. He nearly came down with a miraculous one-handed touchdown catch, but QB Kenny Pickett led him too far out of bounds.

Things got out of hand quickly for the Steelers in this contest, and emotions clearly got the best of Pickens. He was tagged with a dead-ball personal foul penalty and his noticable frustration with the stagnant offense and lack of involvement was clear to see.

Following the game, a screenshot was taken from Pickens' Instagram account in which he apparently liked a comment criticizing the offense.

The comment read, "Nobody to get that man the ball tho." This could have been a jab at the play-calling, but it seems pretty clear that the commenter is referring to Kenny Pickett. The screenshot also shows that the author of the original post (which was Pickens) liked the comment that bashes his starting quarterback.

Later, Pickens was asked about this by the media -- to which he tried to deny any involvement in this Instagram 'like'. Here's what he had to say, per Chris Adamski of TribLIVE:

Pickens admitted that he saw the comment, but insisted that he did not hit 'like' on the comment. In fact, he claims that you can't mention him or tag him.

I'm not very well-versed when it comes to Instagram, but it doesn't seem like there would be any restrictions that would prohibit Pickens from hitting the like button on a comment. While we don't want to accuse him here, it certainly seems like the Steelers receiver liked a negative comment that took a jab at his quarterback.

Obviously, we hope something else is going on here. If Pickens did indeed do this, then lying about smashing the like seems like a silly play here. Knowing how frustrated he appeared on the field, it's not that unbelievable that he could have carried some of that aggression over to social media.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were abysmal and everyone was frustrated with their performance against the 49ers. I don't know exactly what happened when it came to this Instagram 'like,' but I'm going to give George Pickens the benefit of the doubt. It's time to move on and focus on the Browns in Week 2 on Monday Night Football.