Kenny Pickett had restrictions during his comeback to practice, while Najee Harris was excluded from participating.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett made a return to practice on Tuesday after a two-week absence due to a high ankle sprain.

Noted as a limited participant in the injury report, Pickett’s status for the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals isn’t confirmed. Head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned that while Pickett isn’t completely ruled out for the Saturday contest, the initial plan is for Mason Rudolph to take the starting role.

Tomlin explained, “Our current plan is to give Mason Rudolph an opportunity to start. He’s a veteran guy, a backup, but with significant experience within our program. We have confidence in him.”

Regarding Pickett’s situation, Tomlin expressed, “Kenny had a productive rehab today. While his availability for this week isn’t off the table, our primary focus early in the week will be on Mason Rudolph. We’ll monitor Kenny’s response to the limited work he’ll receive and assess our approach accordingly.”

Tomlin emphasized that medical clearance and Pickett’s overall mobility and effectiveness will determine his status for Saturday’s game.

The Steelers faced a challenging stretch without Pickett, losing three consecutive games, coinciding with his injury. Mitch Trubisky stepped in during Pickett’s absence but struggled, leading to Rudolph’s late-game appearance. Despite not having played since December 2021, Rudolph holds a 5-4-1 record as a starter for the Steelers and has amassed 2,369 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in his career.

Additionally, running back Najee Harris and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick were both absent from Tuesday’s practice due to a knee injury.

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