Steelers reportedly benched Mitchell Trubisky after ‘heated exchange’ with Diontae Johnson

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin originally benched Mitchell Trubisky in favor of Kenny Pickett during the 24-20 loss against the New York Jets and has kept Pickett atop his depth chart since.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offered more information about that decision in a piece published Monday. 

“Trubisky was benched against the Jets following a locker room confrontation at halftime with receiver Diontae Johnson, multiple sources have told the Post-Gazette,” Dulac wrote. “According to sources, Johnson began yelling at Trubisky to throw him the ball more, even though Johnson had a pass skip off his hands that resulted in an interception and failed to get his feet inbounds on what would have been a 23-yard touchdown in the first half. Trubisky stood up to Johnson and a heated exchange occurred. That’s when Pickett was told he would start the second half.” 

Pickett failed to light up the scoreboard in the 38-3 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 9 and then was knocked out of what became Sunday’s 20-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a concussion. Trubisky replaced the first-round draft selection and completed nine-of-12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown en route to guiding Pittsburgh to only its second victory of the season. 

Noah Strackbein noted for Fan Nation’s All Steelers that Trubisky likely will start when the 2-4 Steelers play at the 3-3 Miami Dolphins this coming Sunday night. 

“Players typically need four-to-six days to pass through all the stages (of the concussion protocol), and with two starts and eight quarters under his belt, the Steelers are likely going to lean toward the side of caution both with health and experience,” Strackbein wrote about Tomlin sitting Pickett for the Week 7 showdown. “The Steelers’ policy for most players in the locker room is the need to practice at least once throughout the week in order to play in the game.” 


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