Alas, 2019 will not end with Mason Rudolph leading the Steelers to a miracle finish this Christmas. The Steelers placed Mason Rudolph on injured reserve following the loss to the Jets, making him ineligible to play in the season finale against the Ravens or any playoff games should Pittsburgh qualify.
- That is an unfortunate end the season for both the Steelers and Rudolph, but it certainly fits in character with everything else that has transpired during 2019.
Mason Rudolph was thrust into the lineup unexpectedly at half time of the Steelers loss to the Seahawks when Ben Roethlisberger began complaining about elbow pain. Within a day, Roethlisberger was ruled out for the rest of 2019 and Mason Rudolph’s tenure as starter began.
- He lost his first start against the 49ers, as fans and some in the press critiziced the coaches for asking Rudolph to do too much.
A week later, Rudolph won his first start against the Bengals on a steady diet of Jaylen Samuels under center Wildcat, Jet screens and sub-5 yard dump offs. But it worked. Rudolph was playing well against the Ravens, when Earl Thomas knocked him out with an illegal hit.
Devlin Hodges won the next week against the San Diego er um LA Chargers and Steelers Nation reveretd to his form from interregnum between Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger when the back up quarterback became the most popular player on the team.
Mason Rudolph returned for the Steelers against Miami and looked tentative and timid at the end of the game. But after burning Miami with a touchdown strike to Diontae Johnson (with the help of a helacious block form James Washington), Mason Rudolph seemed to find his sea legs.
- Rudolph took steps forward in the victories against the Colts and Rams, but then played poorly against the Browns.
He also suffered a criminal assault at the end of the game, and reverted to the form he showed in the first quarter against Miami against the Bengals. Mike Tomlin inserted Devlin Hodges just after half time, Hodges closed that game at Cincinnati with a win, and won his next two starts.
But after throwing six straight interceptions against the Bills and Jets, Mike Tomlin went back to Rudolph, who tied the game by leading the Steelers to 10 points in just over two minutes (with some help from T.J. Watt.)
- Alas, Rudolph got hurt early in the 2nd half of the game against the Jets.
Rudolph remained in the game for awhile, but ultimately had to come up. His injury is to his left shoulder which is not his throwing arm, but it must be fairly serious if the Steelers are ending his season now.
With Rudolph our, former first round pick Paxton Lynch ascends to the starting role, while the Steelers have also signed former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.