Pickett practices, says he's good to play Sunday

Kenny Pickett finished practice on Wednesday and declared himself fit to play in the Steelers' next game, Sunday against the Ravens at Acrisure Stadium.

The Steelers quarterback suffered what head coach Mike Tomlin called a bone bruise in the third quarter of the team's 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday.

But after initially fearing the worst, Pickett, who was officially listed as limited on the team's injury report Wednesday, said he feels much better now.

"(I feel) good," Pickett said at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex following the team's practice. "I'll be ready to go by Sunday."

Pickett wore a brace on his injured knee during practice, but said that was more precautionary. The second-year quarterback didn't push things hard on Wednesday, but also didn't suffer any setbacks. That preparation will continue through Sunday as the Steelers (2-2) prepare for a battle for first place in the AFC North with the Ravens (3-1).

"I'm confident with the plan that we have by Sunday," Pickett said.

"I took what I needed to take in terms of what they were telling me, the doctors and the trainers we have here. And as we as we go through the week, it'll probably go based off of what they say."

If Pickett cannot play or suffers a setback, Mitch Trubisky would get the start for the Steelers.

Pickett was injured in the third quarter against the Texans with the Steelers facing fourth-and-1 from the Houston 33 trailing 16-6.

He dropped back to pass and rolled to his left, right into the waiting arms of defensive end Jonathan Greenard, who twisted the quarterback to the ground.

Pickett has watched the ill-fated play and has just one regret.

"(I wish I had) gotten back to Calvin (Austin) possibly faster from watching it," Pickett said. "We wanted to take a look at the front side and get to the backside. I tried to extend with my legs and make a play, but it just didn't work out."

That has been an underlying issue early in the season for the Steelers, who rank 29th in the league in total offense and scoring.

According to Pickett, the issues have been a player here or there blowing an assignment or not getting the job done, and it's led to some misfires by the offense as a whole.

• Dale Lolley is co-host of "SNR Drive" on Steelers Nation Radio. Subscribe to the podcast here: Apple Podcast | iHeart Podcast

"I wouldn't say change but it needs to be you know a full focus from everybody," Pickett said. "You know, it seems like that one or two plays here and there we set ourselves behind the chains, whether it's a penalty or some kind of negative play when we get moved and we set ourselves back we got to continue to eliminate those."

Doing that Sunday against the Ravens won't be easy. Baltimore ranks third in the NFL in yards allowed and fourth in scoring defense.

But Pickett has started twice in his young career against Baltimore. In his first start, at Acrisure Stadium, he was forced out of the game with a concussion after just four plays.

In the second meeting, Pickett completed 15 of 28 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers came from behind to beat the Ravens, 16-13, in Baltimore.

Despite the offense struggling as a unit right now, playing a familiar opponent – even a good one – might help ease some of the issues.

"They're a great defense," Pickett said. It''s always going be a battle in the AFC North, so we have got to get ready for it."

Regardless of how much – or how little – he's able to practice this week.

"Consistency, that's what I'm pushing to be consistently good and a great player," Pickett said. "So I want to be consistently good, continue to be the guy that these guys can rely on. And you know, it works as a team gam. This is the ultimate team game. It's on the the line, the receivers, the backs and myself to all push the offense where we need to be."