Steelers QB Kenny Pickett has surgery, LB Elandon Roberts hurt

Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are down two quarterbacks on a short week, ratcheting up urgency entering a matching with the New England Patriots.

Mitchell Trubisky draws the start at quarterback after Kenny Pickett underwent surgery on his ankle on Monday, and “QB of our defense,” linebacker Elandon Roberts, is questionable, Tomlin said, with a groin injury.

Tomlin said there is no concern Pickett could miss the rest of the season with reports pegging his potential return at 2-4 weeks.

Roberts attempted to return to Sunday’s loss but was too limited to be effective.

He wears the blue dot on his helmet as the defensive signal-caller for the Steelers and has 80 tackles with 1.5 sacks this season. Tomlin said linebacker Blake Martinez could be pushed into action, and Myles Jack might be asked to step in for Roberts. In March, the Steelers released Jack after signing Roberts as a free agent.

“When you are working on a short week, there’s a limited amount of physical reps you get,” Tomlin said.

Trubisky replaced Pickett on Sunday. Pickett left the game with 5:10 to go in the second quarter after a tackle from behind by Cardinals linebacker Josh Woods.

“He gets the most work,” Tomlin said of why he’s turning to Trubisky over Mason Rudolph. “Mitch has been positioned to get the work.”

Tomlin said he will live “one week at a time” when discussing his confidence at quarterback and other positions.

Pickett, who entered Week 13 questionable with an ankle injury but was able to practice, limped off on his own and went to the blue tent for evaluation before heading to the locker room.

Before the injury, Pickett was 7-for-10 passing for 70 yards against the Cardinals.

“He had it surgically repaired this morning in an effort to accelerate the healing process. Rest assured he is out this week,” Tomlin said of Pickett’s ankle injury on Monday.

Trubisky was 11-for-17 passing for 117 yards and one touchdown against the Cardinals. He has passed for 273 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in 49 pass attempts this season.

Tomlin said the expectation of pre-snap and post-play penalties being at zero when the season hits December will cause him to look at personnel very closely even on a week when practice time will be limited.

“There needs to be extreme urgency around the routine things so that they are routine,” Tomlin said Monday. “We’re going to turn the things over as far as people and the things we’re asking them to do.”

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