Right after the Mason Rudolph redemption arc started, it was immediately put to rest. The Steelers quarterback is “out multiple weeks” with the shoulder injury he suffered during Pittsburgh’s loss to the Jets, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Rapoport adds that even if Pittsburgh makes it into the postseason, “Rudolph is not expected to be available.” That means Devlin Hodges will be the starter in Week 17 against the Ravens, and potentially in a playoff game. Pittsburgh needs to beat Baltimore, and to have Tennessee either tie or lose to Houston, to get the final wild card spot in the AFC. Rudolph, a third-round pick in 2018, immediately took over under center when Ben Roethlisberger first went down all the way back at the beginning of the season.
He missed a game with a concussion and Hodges performed reasonably well, and when Rudolph struggled mightily upon returning, he was quickly benched for Hodges. After an initial honeymoon period Hodges began to turn the ball over frequently as well, and he was pulled against New York. Rudolph provided an initial spark and was playing well, before going down with the shoulder injury.
Former first-round Broncos bust Paxton Lynch is also on the roster, and will back up Hodges. It sure would be something if he manages to find his way onto the field. Fortunately for their cause, it looks like the Ravens are going to be resting a lot of their starters in Week 17. It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for the Steelers, and this is just the latest turn in a wild sequence of events.
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