PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s status is still largely unknown on Sunday night after he left the Steelers’ 26-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a terrifying head injury.
While scrambling to complete a pass, Rudolph was sandwiched in between Ravens defenders and the helmet of safety Earl Thomas connected with Rudolph’s jaw. He appeared to be unconscious as he flopped to the turf and frantic Steelers offensive linemen called for trainers to check on Rudolph’s status.
He eventually came to and walked off the field under his own power. Rudolph walked off the field after the Steelers’ medical cart had an issue and had to be pushed off the field. Rudolph was diagnosed with a concussion and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin declined to give a more elaborative update on Rudolph’s health and did not answer a question about why Rudolph was allowed to walk off the field.
Thomas was conciliatory and said that he wasn’t trying to hit Rudolph high.
“I didn’t try to intentionally hurt him,” Thomas said. “I’m worried about him. I heard he’s at the hospital. My prayers go out to him and his family. I’m never trying to hurt anybody. At the end of the day, guys have families. So I’d never try to intentionally hurt him. I was just going and flying to the ball like I normally do.”
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 6, 2019
Thomas was flagged for a personal foul for roughing the passer and according to Fox NFL officiating expert Dean Blandino, he could potentially face a fine.
“From what I saw, Earl was closing and Mason was going forward and [Brandon Carr] was going to make the tackle, and gets him right in the chin,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “Kind of like a boxing deal. Absolutely certain, he wasn’t trying to hit him in the head. It’s fast and he’s closing and Mason is running and he’s not going down, throwing the ball. So, that’s what happened with what I saw.”
The Steelers plan to provide an update on Rudolph’s status on Tuesday, when Tomlin again speaks with the media. Rudolph was replaced by undrafted rookie third-stringer Devlin Hodges.