Tomlin: Rudolph is the Starter, Out Of Concussion Protocol

Steelers coach provides update on injured quarterback

Josh Rowntree
October 16, 2019 - 11:43 am
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) is led to a cart during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field. Rudolph left the game with a concussion during the overtime vic...

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin removed any doubt Wednesday when it comes to who the Steelers’ starting quarterback is going forward. 

“Yes, if that makes you guys feel good,” Tomlin said when asked if Rudolph would start. 

Rudolph, however, remains in concussion protocol following a helmet-to-helmet hit suffered against the Ravens. However, without a game this weekend, the Steelers can keep in him concussion protocol throughout the week, even if he does return to health.

“Seriously guys, that guy is our quarterback when he clears the protocol,” Tomlin added  “And it’s as simple as that. Appreciate the efforts of (Devlin Hodges) and so forth, but as soon as he is ready to go, he is ready to go.”

Hodges, an undrafted free agent rookie, helped lead the Steelers to a 24-17 win over the Chargers Sunday night. Despite that, Tomlin will turn the reigns back over to Rudolph, who has passed for seven touchdowns and thrown two interceptions since taking over for Ben Roethlisberger. 

“Mason Rudolph is progressing nicely, technically he is still in the concussion protocol, but really there is no extreme urgency to get him out of the protocol because we don’t work again until Monday,” Tomlin said. “He’s been fully cleared to participate in the things that we’ve been doing. He would have been a full participant had we chosen to work today. So it’s probably semantics or whatever in terms of him getting clearance.” 

“To me he’s doing great,” offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said. “He went out through the whole protocol last week and did everything he is supposed to do and went out yesterday and now will have to figure out where he is from here.”

The Steelers need every healthy body they can get, as the team is dealing with a variety of injuries that they hope will mostly heal during the bye week.

"We're in a fragile state from a health standpoint, from a depth standpoint,” Tomlin said. “In the midst of that, we better find some ways to win some football games."