Undrafted Devlin Hodges likely to start Week 6 for Steelers, with first-rounder Paxton Lynch as backup

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

There was a frightening moment in Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game when Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph was drilled on the chin in the third quarter and was knocked unconsciuous, falling immobile to the Heinz Field turf.

Rudolph was making his third start in relief of Ben Roethlisberger, who underwent season-ending elbow surgery last month, and is expected to be out for at least a week after his brain injury.

Now the Steelers will have their third starting quarterback of the season on Sunday.

Devlin Hodges, FCS standout

Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Devlin Hodges is expected to start this Sunday against the Chargers. (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Devlin Hodges is expected to start this Sunday against the Chargers. (AP)

Rookie Devlin Hodges finished the game for Pittsburgh on Sunday, and he’s likely to start Week 6 on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hodges was 7-for-9 passing for 68 yards and had two carries for 20 yards against Baltimore and guided the Steelers to a touchdown and field goal though they ultimately lost in overtime.

Who is Devlin Hodges?

He was the Walter Payton Award winner last year at Samford, given to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS. The 6-foot-1 Alabama native is the FCS’ all-time leader in passing yards, with 14,584 as a four-year starter and was three times chosen as the Southern Conference offensive player of the year.

He was not drafted in the spring, and signed with Pittsburgh basically as a training camp arm. His signing bonus was just $1,000.

Pittsburgh waived Hodges on the eve of the regular season but re-signed him on September 10 after trading Josh Dobbs to Jacksonville.

Paxton Lynch as backup

Hodges’ backup against the Chargers is expected to be Paxton Lynch.

Unlike Hodges, Lynch entered the NFL with some fanfare: the 26th overall pick in the 2016 draft. Lynch made four starts over two seasons for the Denver Broncos before he was released in the 2018 preseason. He spent the 2018 season out of the NFL before signing with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year.

Lynch spent the offseason and preseason with Seattle but was among its final cuts. He joined the Steelers’ practice squad on September 17.

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