If you watched any of the scene in Pittsburgh when Mason Rudolph was motionless on the turf after being knocked out, you’d have never expected Rudolph to return to practice three days later.
Yet, the Steelers quarterback was back at practice on Wednesday according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. As Rutter pointed out, returning to practice means Rudolph is in the fifth and final stage of the NFL’s concussion protocol.
That doesn’t mean Rudolph will play this week, but it’s pretty remarkable after what happened on Sunday that it’s even a possibility.
Mason Rudolph was knocked out
Anyone who saw what happened to Rudolph on Sunday is unlikely to forget it anytime soon.
Rudolph twisted his body to make a throw, leaving himself exposed. Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas hit him in the head. Rudolph collapsed on the field and did not move for a while. The facemask was taken off his helmet to help him get oxygen. The cart was brought out but either it wasn’t working or the trainers agreed to let Rudolph walk off the field, and he slowly walked off.
It was a scary scene. In that way, it’s a relief that Rudolph is back to practice so soon. Hopefully the Steelers have been supremely careful in allowing him to return already.
Devlin Hodges would start if Rudolph can’t play
Devlin Hodges took over for Rudolph in Sunday’s game, and Rutter wrote that he took the first-team reps. Rudolph took snaps with the scout team, Steelers players confirmed to Rutter. Rudolph hasn’t been cleared to play Sunday. If he gets cleared, it will be later this week.
Rudolph took over for Ben Roethlisberger as the team’s starting quarterback after Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury. It was a fantastic opportunity for the 2018 third-round pick to show what he can do and perhaps establish himself as the team’s quarterback of the future. Given that backdrop, it’s understandable why Rudolph would want to return as soon as possible.
Football is a violent game and scary injuries are inevitable. Rudolph’s was one of the scariest you’ll see. It seems though like his return to a game might not be far off.
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