Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett was the victim of a late hit in a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. His teammates came to his defense.
Pickett and Pittsburgh didn’t do much right against the Bills, but having their rookie quarterback’s back is something this offensive line can perhaps build upon.
On a fourth-quarter scramble, Pickett went to slide after picking up a first down. Unfortunately, Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin came in late to hit Pickett while he was sliding. Somehow, this was not called, despite the fact Pickett gave himself up.
Offensive lineman James Daniels shoved Hamlin after the fact, taking offense to the hit for a few reasons. First, it accomplished nothing, since Pickett was down anyway. Second, a 31-3 scoreline suggests this is not the place for such a play.
Did the Bills try to injure Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett?
Not so much. First off, that would be impossible to prove. Second, Pickett and Hamlin went to school together, and were seen embracing before the game.
Hamlin’s hit was likely more of a heat of the moment play, rather than anything with intent behind it.
It is, however, absurd that the officials opted not to make a call on that hit, especially in a time the league is emphasizing late hits and head injuries. Pickett was very much at risk when Hamlin came in high.