Steelers' Kenny Pickett, 2 others clear concussion protocol

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett cleared concussion protocol and is in line to start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, the team announced Friday morning.

Pickett suffered a concussion on a hit in the third quarter of the Steelers' 20-18 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He said Friday he remembers the hit, and it's the first time he's been in the concussion protocol.

"I'm not gonna get into details of it," Pickett said of the hit. "Went through with the doctors and the medical staff. People fly in here to go to these doctors, so I know they're the best in the country and I feel great with where I'm at."

Coach Mike Tomlin said Pickett would start against the Dolphins if he cleared protocol, and he didn't expect the concussion to hinder his practice availability this week.

"Oftentimes, someone's in the protocol and they've got complete clearance in terms of full participation, so you let them participate," Tomlin said Tuesday. "Sometimes it's limited, and you limit their participation. When it's limited, obviously, it provides additional opportunities of reps for others.

"He's been given full clearance from a participation standpoint relative to his position."

True to Tomlin's word, the rookie fully practiced on Wednesday and Thursday, taking all of his usual first-team reps.

"If obviously I wasn't feeling good or if it wasn't going the way we were expecting it to go, then I probably wouldn't have played this week and we would've pushed it back," Pickett said. "But I didn't have any setbacks. I felt great going through everything. "I'm confident and excited for Sunday."

Making his first start against the Bucs, Pickett completed 11 of 18 attempts for 67 yards, and he led a touchdown drive on the Steelers' opening series. In Pickett's absence, Mitch Trubisky, who started the first four games of the season before being replaced with Pickett at halftime of the Jets loss, completed 9 of 12 attempts for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Cornerback Levi Wallace and tight end Pat Freiermuth were also cleared from concussion protocol and are in line to play Sunday after missing the win against the Bucs.