The Pittsburgh Steelers' pursuit for a playoff spot hit a significant speedbump on Sunday.
Starting quarterback Kenny Pickett suffered a left ankle injury during the Steelers’ 24-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that could cause him to miss multiple weeks. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday night that Pickett is expected to have surgery and could miss 2-4 weeks.
Pickett escaped the pocket in the red zone and tried to run for a touchdown with 5:32 left in the second quarter, when his left foot was caught under a tackle from Cardinals defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter. Pickett’s head also hit the field after the play. He was able to leave the field on his own.
Steelers backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL draft, replaced Pickett and would be Pittsburgh’s likely starter in his absence.
Trubisky led a touchdown drive during Sunday’s game, but the 2-yard pass to receiver Diontae Johnson in the fourth quarter came well after the Cardinals held a comfortable lead.
Despite the loss to Arizona, Pittsburgh outgained its opponent for the second consecutive week. The Steelers gained the distinction of winning games this season while being outgained in yards.
The Steelers fell to 7-5 and maintained the No. 5 seed among seven teams in the AFC playoff race. The Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans — also at 7-5 — are behind the Steelers in the playoff picture.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steelers' Kenny Pickett suffers ankle injury that could need surgery