When Mike Tomlin benched Mitch Trubisky in favor of Kenny Pickett during the Steelers’ Week 4 loss to the New York Jets, many thought it was due to his play on the field and the Steelers urge to begin the Kenny Pickett era.
But that’s not the case.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Trubisky was benched following a locker room altercation with Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson during halftime of that Week 4 game.
Johnson reportedly yelled at Trubisky to give him more targets, and Trubisky “stood up” to the star wideout.
“Trubisky was benched against the Jets following a locker room confrontation at halftime with receiver Diontae Johnson, multiple sources have told the Post-Gazette,” Dulac wrote. “According to sources, Johnson began yelling at Trubisky to throw him the ball more, even though Johnson had a pass skip off his hands that resulted in an interception and failed to get his feet inbounds on what would have been a 23-yard touchdown in the first half. Trubisky stood up to Johnson and a heated exchange occurred. That’s when Pickett was told he would start the second half.”
Prior to the benching, Trubisky was 7-for-13 for 84 yards and one interception. When Pickett took over, he went 10-for-13 for 120 yards and three interceptions in the loss.
After replacing Trubisky against the Jets, Pickett was named the starter the following week. But after playing in one full game, he would knocked out of Sunday’s matchup versus the Buccaneers because of a concussion, leading to Trubisky coming in and leading the team to a 20-18 victory.
Trubisky completed nine of his 12 passes with 144 yards and a touchdown.