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Down to the Wire: Rudolph, Trubisky Still Deadlocked in Backup Battle



Pittsburgh Steelers QB OTAs Trubisky Rudolph Pickett

PITTSBURGH — The quarterback battle between Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph continues to rage on in practice as both players split reps evenly throughout the week. With Trubisky, working with the first team or scout team is the usual routine for him. However, Rudolph had to charge himself up and shake off some rust throughout the week. By now, he feels ready to go.

“The first play call and being back in the huddle with the starting offense was fun and I think shook off the rust relatively quickly,” Rudolph said. “It’s a good day.”

After a full week of practice, Trubisky felt natural. The quarterbacks switched off each rep in practice after Mike Tomlin refused to name a starter this week, taking the decision day by day. Regardless, the quarterbacks as a room are tight-knit, and whatever happened throughout the week never felt unnatural.

“It felt really natural,” Trubisky said. “In and out of practice, divvying up the reps, you’re still playing each rep one play at a time, switching off. We were both locked into the game plan. The quarterbacks have gotten really close over the year, so we got supported one another.”

Regardless of how the reps were split in practice, one thing remains certain, and that is both quarterbacks are being prepped to play. Could it be a situation where Trubisky is on a short leash and Rudolph could play? Absolutely, but the Steelers’ offense is not worrying about who will play under center. That includes Najee Harris, who is more focused on executing his part of the game plan.

“I mean, it doesn’t matter too much,” Harris said. “I’m confident in whoever we get in there. The game plan is going to be that game plan. Whoever is in there, we can be confident they will execute it.”

Trubisky and Rudolph both described each other as locked in throughout the week. With Pickett doubtful for the game, it brings opportunity for both quarterbacks depending on who will start. Tomlin will not name a starter until Saturday, but the week of practice has prepared both quarterbacks and the team for whoever will play.

“I will continue to prepare as I always have,” Trubisky said. “No matter the role, you have your part to execute in the gameplan. I’m just going to roll with and help lead this team whenever and wherever I can when the decision is made. We got a great week of work in. Everyone was locked in.”

After the three-interception game, Trubisky is looking for a bounce-back opportunity. Meanwhile, Rudolph is hoping to get redemption and his first opportunity of the season after being inactive for 13 games thus far on the year.