PITTSBURGH — Kenny Pickett felt effective at first. After absorbing an enormous hit from Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith and hitting his head on the turf, the Steelers’ rookie quarterback exited the Week 14 sport and went into the blue damage tent on the sideline to be evaluated for a concussion.
He was cleared and reentered the sport on the Steelers’ subsequent drive. However over the course of the short three-play collection, Pickett observed adjustments in his imaginative and prescient setting in. That is when he knew one thing was unsuitable and self-reported his signs when he got here off the sector.
“I thought I was good to go, felt good,” Pickett mentioned Thursday. “And I got back out there and started running, and they started coming into play more. I’m moving and things are going fast. That’s when symptoms started to come up, and I had to go inside.
“… I got here off the sector, was not feeling good, in order that’s why I went in.”
Pickett was limited in practice during the week that followed, and though he felt better by the end of the week, he decided it was safest to hold off on returning to action until after the Week 15 game against the Carolina Panthers.
“I went via with the medical doctors and listened to what they mentioned,” Pickett said. “And positively the best name was to not play final week. I may have type of pushed it. However I feel the best selection was to sit down out one week and be full go this week.”
Pickett was officially cleared from concussion protocol earlier this week, and he will start against the Las Vegas Raiders, coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. After the concussion — his second in eight weeks — Pickett switched to a different helmet on the recommendation of team medical staff.
Now, he’s wearing a helmet equipped with a special design and padding on the back to cushion Pickett’s head in the event of another violent hit against the ground. Tight end Pat Freiermuth wears a similarly sized helmet after also suffering multiple concussions over his first two NFL seasons.
Pickett added a visor to his face mask, not because of light sensitivity, but because one mask he tried obstructed his vision and the other left too much unprotected space.
“The face-mask hole is simply too broad,” Pickett said. “I do not know who designed this one, nevertheless it’s just a bit too broad the place a fist can actually undergo it. I do not wanna get punched within the face on Saturday, so I used to be like, ‘You recognize what, I am going to in all probability put on a visor, and we’ll be good to go.'”
Pickett’s concussion, which he said had more severe symptoms and lingered longer than his first, happened when he escaped one would-be sack and tried to extend the play before Smith brought him down.
And while offensive coordinator Matt Canada acknowledged Pickett might’ve done that play differently — potentially throwing the ball away after escape the first sack attempt — if given a re-do, Pickett said the concussions aren’t going to drastically affect the way he plays with his designed runs or how he takes risks.
“It simply, it comes with the place,” he said. “It comes with taking part in soccer, and it may occur. I used to be fortunate early in my profession and in faculty actually not having many concussions or in any respect actually experiencing what I’ve skilled these previous two. It occurs. It is soccer.”