Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges announced his retirement from professional football, the Ottawa Redblacks announced on Friday.
Hodges spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Steelers, playing in eight games and starting six when Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph were both injured in 2019.
The Steelers chose not to re-sign him after he did not appear during the 2020 season. Hodges spent the 2021 offseason with the Los Angeles Rams, but was waived in August. He then signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. He played in four games with Ottawa at the end of last season.
“I’d like to thank the REDBLACKS for bringing me to Ottawa and giving me this opportunity,” Hodges said in a statement released by the team. “I have gained a lot of respect for the CFL and its fans – particularly RNation! I’m excited to see what the future holds but I know that the next chapter in my life is going to be fun.”
In total, Hodges played in eight NFL Games, and completed 100 of 160 passing attempts (62.5%) for 1,063 yards, five touchdowns and eight interceptions. In the CFL, he played four games, completed 16 of 38 attempts (42%) for 139 yards, no touchdowns and one interceptions.
Hodges joined the Steelers out of FCS Samford in 2019. With the Bulldogs, he was a Walter Payton Award winner as the best offensive player in FCS, he was a three-time Southern Conference player of the year and he set the NCAA FCS career passing yards record with 14,584.
Hodges joined the Steelers at rookie minicamp on a tryout contract, and worked his way to the 90-man roster. His strong performance in training camp allowed the team to trade Josh Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars, moving Hodges to No. 3 on the depth chart at quarterback.
The Steelers waived Hodges at the beginning of the season and placed him on the practice squad, but he was re-elevated when Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2.
When Rudolph suffered a concussion, Hodges was thrust into the starting lineup and did well enough that he was called on to replace a healthy Rudolph when the latter struggled later in the season.
A native of Kimberly, Alabama, Hodges earned the nickname “Duck” while at Samford for his duck-calling abilities. He won the 2009 Junior World Duck Calling Contest at age 13 and the 2018 Alabama State Duck Calling Championship.
Hodges quickly became a fan favorite in Pittsburgh because of his underdog story and lovable nickname and remains a popular figure among the Steelers fanbase.