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Sunday, 24 November 2019

Tomlin mum on Steelers’ starter after Rudolph benched

November 25, 2019

Head coach Mike Tomlin declined to say who the Steelers’ starting quarterback will be moving forward after Devlin “Duck” Hodges replaced Mason Rudolph in the second half on Sunday and rallied Pittsburgh to victory.

“We’ll see what next week holds, next week,” Tomlin told reporters afterward.

Hodges, who won his only start earlier this season when Rudolph was out injured, entered on the Steelers’ second series of the second half, with the Cincinnati Bengals leading 7-3.

“Just felt like our offense needed a spark,” Tomlin said of the decision. “Mason wasn’t doing enough. ‘Duck’ came in and provided us a little spark, made a couple plays.”

The move paid immediate dividends. On his fourth snap, Hodges hit James Washington deep over the middle, and the wideout stiff-armed his way to a 79-yard touchdown to put the Steelers up 10-7.

“I looked pretty smart, didn’t I?” Tomlin said with a laugh and an eye roll.

Hodges, an undrafted rookie out of Samford, finished 5 of 11 for 118 yards. The Steelers prevailed 16-10 thanks to a pair of Chris Boswell field goals in the fourth quarter, moving into position for the AFC’s final wild-card spot at 6-5.

Rudolph finished 8 of 16 for 85 yards with an interception. The pick was Rudolph’s seventh in his last five games, after he had just two interceptions through his first four games of the season.

Asked when he would like to make a decision on who will start at home against Cleveland next Sunday, Tomlin said he might have already.

“I may have it as I stand here right now, but I’m just not going to share it with you guys,” he said.

Rudolph, a third-round pick in 2018, entered the day with 1,551 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games (seven starts) in place of Ben Roethlisberger, who was lost for the season in Week 2 with an elbow injury.

Hodges went 22 of 29 for 200 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games (one start) in place of Rudolph earlier this year.

–Field Level Media

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