After one of the scariest hits of this or any other NFL season, which left Rudolph knocked unconscious and on the turf for a few minutes, he was back at practice on Wednesday. There seemed to be a chance he could be cleared by Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
That won’t happen. The Steelers ruled Rudolph out. Devlin Hodges will start against the Chargers. Former Denver Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster and will serve as the backup. Then Pittsburgh has a bye next week.
After what we saw last Sunday, that seems like the right move.
Mason Rudolph ruled out
The hit Rudolph took from Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was a scary reminder of the dangers NFL players face each time they get on the field.
Rudolph made a nice play to deliver a pass downfield, but turned his body in a way that left him totally exposed. Thomas hit him, and Rudolph was immediately out. The sight of him getting off the field with his facemask removed from his helmet, so trainers could work on him better, was frightening too.
Given the scene that unfolded in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon, it was shocking that Rudolph was back at practice three days later.
Rudolph might return after Steelers’ bye
Rudolph won’t play on Sunday. The Steelers are 1-4 and presumably didn’t want Hodges to be making his first start, but especially with the bye week coming up, it made sense to sit Rudolph.
Considering Rudolph was back at practice this week working with the scout team, it would seem he could be available for the Steelers’ next game after the bye. Presumably he wants to return as fast as possible, so he can show the Steelers he can be their quarterback of the future whenever Ben Roethlisberger retires.
But he won’t be active this week. That’s probably for the best.
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