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Steelers replacement quarterback Mitch Trubisky focuses on Patriots, not future

Mitch Trubisky started against the Patriots in Week 2 last season and threw for 138 yards, a touchdown, and a pick while getting sacked three times.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Mitch Trubisky insists he’s too worried about the Patriots to think about how the next few weeks might affect the arc of his career.

Still, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2017 may be running out of opportunities to prove he can be a starting quarterback. His next chance will begin Thursday night when the Steelers (7-5) host the reeling Patriots (2-10).

Kenny Pickett, who leapfrogged Trubisky on the depth chart 14 months ago, is out indefinitely after undergoing right ankle surgery Monday. Enter Trubisky, who at 29 believes he can still deliver on the talent that made the Bears trade up to take him ahead of players such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey.


Asked if he feels as if the next month is an audition of sorts — be it in Pittsburgh, or elsewhere — Trubisky simply shrugged and said repeatedly he’s simply “excited” for the chance to be on the field to prove he’s not quite ready to be a career backup.

“I’m still growing,” he said. “I’m still learning and trying to get better every day. I’ve got some experience under my belt, but I’ve made some good plays and for me it’s going to be [about] consistency.”

It always is with Trubisky, who can tantalize with his athleticism one minute and throw an ill-advised pass into triple coverage the next.

It’s been that way basically from the moment Trubisky entered the league. He endured four turbulent years in Chicago then spent a season hitting the reset button behind Josh Allen in Buffalo in 2021 before signing with the Steelers in the spring of 2022.

“I’m just going to go out and play my game,” he said.

High ankle sprain for Lawrence

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has a high ankle sprain that could force him to miss the first game of his NFL career.


Coach Doug Pederson said tests on Lawrence’s right ankle showed “everything’s stable, everything’s good.” He added that surgery “is not necessarily something that would be warranted at this time.”

“We’ll see where he’s at in a couple days,” Pederson said roughly 12 hours after a 34-31 overtime loss to Cincinnati.

Pederson said Lawrence’s injury “looked worse than it really was. Very fortunate there.” He declined to say if Lawrence has a realistic shot at playing for Jacksonville (8-4) on Sunday at Cleveland (7-5).

“I’m not going to put that timetable on Trevor, not going to put him in a box like that,” Pederson said. “We’ll see how he is in a couple of days.”

Jets continue QB shuffle

The Jets waived Tim Boyle after two starts and signed Brett Rypien off the Seahawks’ practice squad in the team’s latest shuffle at the quarterback position.

Boyle mostly struggled while replacing the benched Zach Wilson the past two games, both losses. Trevor Semien finished Sunday’s loss to the Falcons.

The Jets (4-8) are mired in a five-game losing streak and their offense has been unable to consistently produce with Aaron Rodgers sidelined since tearing his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his New York debut.

Rypien, the nephew of Super Bowl 26 MVP Mark Rypien, has played in 10 NFL games (four starts) since signing with Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He has some familiarity with Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was the coach in Denver last season, but has been cut by the Broncos and Rams this year.


Giants stick with DeVito

Tommy DeVito is going to remain the Giants’ starting quarterback even though veteran Tyrod Taylor is ready to come off injured reserve.

Coach Brian Daboll made the announcement as New York (4-8) started practicing for Monday night’s home game against the Packers (6-6). An undrafted rookie free agent, DeVito has started the past three games for New York and led it to consecutive wins over Washington and the Patriots after losing his initial start in Dallas.

Taylor had taken over as the Giants starter in early October after Daniel Jones suffered a neck injury. A 13-year veteran, Taylor sustained a rib injury and went on IR.

Jones returned for a game and sustained an ACL injury in the first half, leaving DeVito to take over.

Goodell thinks globally

Commissioner Roger Goodell sees football becoming a global sport within the next decade, with his league at the forefront of that effort.

That includes, Goodell said in Las Vegas, adding another international market to next year’s regular-season schedule. He wasn’t specific, but Brazil and Spain are the front-runners. An announcement is expected in the next month or two.

“We’re really excited about that,” Goodell said. “I don’t see that as much as expanding the number of franchises as I do expanding the opportunity for people to really just enjoy the game.”

Goodell was speaking at a forum that included officials from Las Vegas teams and events to promote the Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium.