Steelers to start Rudolph in place of resting Roethlisberger vs. Browns
Mason Rudolph was named the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular-season finale Sunday.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers felt it was necessary to rest Ben Roethlisberger knowing the Kansas City Chiefs secured a first-round bye last week.
The AFC North champion Steelers (12-3) can’t improve their playoff standing in the Week 17 meeting with the Cleveland Browns. But the Steelers are still vying with the Bills to be the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. With a win, the Steelers secure the No. 2 seed; a Pittsburgh loss coupled with a win by the Bills pushes Buffalo to the No. 2 spot.
“This is no preseason game,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “The standard is the standard. Our job is to win football games.”
Tomlin said other players might rest but he expects the majority of his first-team offense to play at least some portion of Sunday’s game.
With a win over the Steelers, the Browns would earn a wild-card spot in the AFC playoffs. Their last playoff appearance was in 2002. If the Browns lose Sunday, they would need either a loss by the Colts or a loss by the Titans plus wins for Miami and Baltimore.
Rudolph started against the Browns on Nov. 2019 and was smashed in the head with a helmet by Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett.
Rudolph said the incident was “cowardly, bush league” and Garrett was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 season.
–Field Level Media