Sports

Steelers’ Kenny Pickett involved in two heated skirmishes in first career start

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett was in the middle of two skirmishes during their 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

The first incident occurred in the third quarter when Pickett scrambled toward the Bills’ sideline. He went to slide for a first down when he was met by Damar Hamlin. 

Pickett found support from Steelers lineman James Daniels, who came in and pushed Hamlin to the ground.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Kenny Pickett warms up against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium Oct. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Kenny Pickett warms up against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium Oct. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
(Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Daniels’ push prompted more pushing and shoving between the two teams before things simmered down.

But things came to a boiling point again in the fourth quarter when Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson hit Pickett low as the quarterback was scrambling. The former University of Pittsburgh standout took exception to the hit and pushed Lawson, sparking another confrontation.

“I felt like he went after my knee after I tried to throw it,” Pickett said. “Tempers flare. I’m going to keep playing until the last play of the game.”

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is hit by Buffalo Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson and Siran Neal after getting off a pass during the second half of a game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is hit by Buffalo Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson and Siran Neal after getting off a pass during the second half of a game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin called Pickett’s response “appropriate” but didn’t expand on what he thought about the skirmishes.

Pickett didn’t have the same problem with Hamlin’s hit on him because the two were teammates in college.

“That’s one of my guys,” Pickett said. “He’ll be one of my really good friends for a long time. We’re competing. It’s all good.”

Damar Hamlin, right, of the Buffalo Bills tackles Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium Oct. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Damar Hamlin, right, of the Buffalo Bills tackles Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium Oct. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
(Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)

Nobody was ejected for the hits or the pushing and shoving. Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa was ejected for making contact with an official.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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