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Kenny Pickett undergoes ankle surgery; Steelers QB not expected to be placed on IR

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is set for ankle surgery on Monday, but the team is not expected to place the QB on injured reserve, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Good Morning Football, per sources.

Rapoport added that the surgery was described to him as a "tightrope-type" that would typically be done on a high ankle sprain. Pickett will miss Thursday's home game against the New England Patriots and potentially longer, however, the Steelers are holding out hope for him to come back before the final game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18, per Rapoport.

Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed in his Monday news conference that Pickett had a high ankle sprain and underwent surgery Morning morning in order to speed up the healing process. While Tomlin confirmed Pickett will not be back for Thursday's game, he said the team has no concern that it will be a season-ending injury.

Pickett was injured during the Steelers' Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals after a scramble up the middle for a 2-yard gain near the goal line. 

Pickett played through shin and rib injuries at separate junctures earlier this season, but he won't be able to soldier through this one. It's a significant injury and a potentially significant blow to Pittsburgh's playoff aspirations.

Mitchell Trubisky, who came on in relief of Pickett Sunday, is expected to get the start Thursday versus New England. Whether the Steelers can maintain their postseason hopes remains to be seen.

At 7-5, they are the No. 5 seed in the AFC, but it's a precarious position as they're one of four 7-5 AFC squads just ahead of two 6-6 squads.

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