The Pittsburgh Steelers named Kenny Pickett the backup quarterback heading into Week 1, head coach Mike Tomlin announced.

Pickett competed during the offseason for the starting quarterback job, but Mitchell Trubisky was ultimately named the starting quarterback. Pickett, a 1st-round draft pick, will be the No. 2 quarterback in Pittsburgh and will be sitting behind Trubisky until his number is called.

It was unclear if Pickett would beat out Mason Rudolph for the backup spot, but Pickett was higher than Rudolph on the depth chart.

“We’re really comfortable with what Mitch has shown us,” Tomlin said. “I’m really pleased with the growth and development of Kenny. That’s why he’s listed as QB2.”


Pickett left a great impression on his coaching staff in his first offseason. In 3 preseason games, Pickett performed well and saw significant playing time. He will seek playing time during the regular season if the Steelers need him to play.

Before the Steelers drafted Pickett, he spent 5 seasons at Pittsburgh. In 2021, Pickett was a Heisman Trophy finalist and helped Pitt win the ACC Championship. As a professional quarterback, Pickett will aim to have similar success in Pittsburgh.

In the season opener, Pickett will serve as the backup quarterback to Trubisky against the Bengals.