Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky is two weeks clear of a benching, which occurred after a halftime confrontation with Diontae Johnson.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Trubisky and Johnson got into a heated verbal exchange at halftime of the Steelers game against the New York Jets. The quarterback of benched for Kenny Pickett shortly thereafter, though it’s unclear if that’s the sole reason.
Neither the Steelers nor Mike Tomlin have commented on the incident, so it should be included that all of this information is based on Post-Gazette writer Gerry Dulac’s stellar reporting.
Per Dulac, here is what occurred:
“Trubisky was benched against the Jets following a locker room confrontation at halftime with receiver Diontae Johnson, multiple sources have told the Post-Gazette. 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.”
Two weeks after benching, Mitch Trubisky leads Steelers to win
Trubisky was forced back into action this past week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when rookie Kenny Pickett suffered a head injury and was placed in concussion protocol.
The high-profile free agent pickup was inserted back into the starting lineup in relief of Pickett, and played quite well as a result. Despite being double-digit underdogs entering the contest, Pittsburgh won the game, 20-18, thanks in part to a 9-of-12 passing day from Trubisky. Pair that with 144 yards and a touchdown, and Pittsburgh sports fans are wondering where THIS Trubisky was for the first four weeks of the season.
Despite the conflict a few weeks back, Tomlin praised Trubisky postgame:
“He’s been professional and class at every step of the way,” Tomlin said, again per the PPG. “Not only him, but Mason Rudolph was engaged and has got good ideas. We are a collective team and I just appreciate the unselfishness of all of those guys throughout this process. That’s why I repeatedly bring it up.”
Trubisky may be called upon again Sunday night in Miami, especially if Pickett isn’t ready to go. Should he play well, could Tomlin go back to his original plan of sitting the rookie for most of the season?
That remains to be seen, as well as if Trubisky and Johnson can repair their relationship.