Mitchell Trubisky appears to be the Steelers' starter for the first game of a new era in Pittsburgh.
The five-year veteran appeared atop the quarterback order on the Steelers' unofficial depth chart, which the team released Monday afternoon, meaning he's in line to serve as QB1 for Pittsburgh's season opener in Cincinnati.
Trubisky is in line to fill the shoes left by Ben Roethlisberger, who rode off into retirement at the end of the 2021 season and forced the Steelers to find a replacement. They signed Trubisky in March, then spent a first-round pick on University of Pittsburgh star Kenny Pickett, giving the franchise options as it wades into the post-Roethlisberger era.
Trubisky has surfaced as the leader in more ways than one. He's one of five team captains chosen by his teammates, and although coach Mike Tomlin hasn't made an official announcement, Monday's depth chart all but confirms it will be Trubisky taking the field for Pittsburgh's first possession Sunday at Paycor Stadium.
This was far from a guaranteed outcome. Trubisky appeared set to begin the season as the starter, but strong preseason performances from Pickett in Weeks 1 and 2 seemingly closed the gap between the two, and Tomlin did not hide his excitement regarding the rookie.
Trubisky responded by seizing perhaps his greatest remaining moment to claim the job, shining in the first half of Pittsburgh's Week 3 preseason win over Detroit. The former No. 2 overall pick completed 15 of 19 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown, leading four scoring drives on six possessions despite the continued struggles of the offensive linemen responsible for protecting him.
By the time Pickett entered the game, most everyone agreed Trubisky had earned the job. All that was left was for Tomlin to make an announcement.
Such a declaration is expected Tuesday, but the outcome is now predictable. What remains interesting, however, is the structure of the rest of the QB depth chart.
Veteran backup Mason Rudolph was listed behind Trubisky as QB2, which is difficult to believe when weighing how Pittsburgh deployed him in the preseason. Rudolph was relegated to third-string QB duties throughout the preseason, and his name has been floated as a potential trade chip.
There is some logic to this order. Rudolph has starting experience in the regular season, posting a 5-4-1 record as a starter in three seasons with the Steelers. Still, he wasn't taken seriously as a contender for the primary job, which would lead one to believe he would be the odd man out if the Steelers had to choose two of the three.
Pickett stood as QB3 on that first chart, but by Tuesday it appeared he and Rudolph has switched places on an updated depth chart.
Regardless, all signs point toward Trubisky taking over as the starter. He'll have quite a test in front of him in the form of the reigning AFC champions.
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