NFL

Steelers to stick with Rudolph at QB for season finale

By Sports Desk January 01, 2024

Mason Rudolph has helped the Pittsburgh Steelers stay in the play-off picture.

He'll get another chance to help them secure a post-season berth in Week 18.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said during his Monday press conference that Rudolph will start Saturday's season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.

Rudolph has led Pittsburgh to a 2-0 record since taking over for an ineffective Mitch Trubisky following Kenny Pickett's ankle injury.

Tomlin told reporters that Pickett's health is not a question, but Rudolph will remain the starter.

"I think Kenny's availability is less in question this week. I anticipate him being available to practice. That being said, we're going to leave the ball in Mason Rudolph's hands," Tomlin said. "He's done a good job and we've done a good job in the most recent two weeks. We've taken care of the ball, he's taken care of the ball. We've scored points at a rate in which we hadn't done to this point this year. And with the urgency of the moment and because of those reasons, we're going to leave the ball in his hands."

In his two starts, Rudolph has completed 35-of-51 passes for 564 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 118.4 passer rating. The Steelers scored 30 and 34 points in those two victories after not scoring more than 26 points in any of their first 14 games.

Pickett had just six TD passes in 12 games this season, and the team could be deciding to move on from him this offseason.

With Sunday's 30-23 road win over the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh improved to 9-7, but it's still on the outside looking in on the play-offs.

To clinch a berth, the Steelers must win in Baltimore and have the Miami Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night. They could also make the post-season by beating the Ravens, coupled with a Tennessee Titans win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

One advantage the Steelers have going for them is the Ravens have already secured the AFC's top seed, so MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson and other Baltimore starters could be rested as they prepare for the play-offs.

 

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