CINCINNATI — Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph was benched in the third quarter of the his team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and replaced by undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges.
Rudolph was removed from the game after starting the game 8 of 16 for 85 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. His lone completion of note was a 35-yard pass to recently acquired wide receiver Deon Cain that set up a second-quarter field goal.
The interception was his fifth over the last two games. He has 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions on the season.
Hodges immediately provided a spark, hitting James Washington for a 79-yard touchdown on his third pass attempt.
An undrafted rookie out of Samford, Hodges started his NFL career by coming to the Steelers’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. He won a job there and emerged as a solid No. 4 option in training camp, moving up the depth chart after the trade of Josh Dobbs and season-ending injury to Ben Roethlisberger.
Rudolph, the Steelers’ third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, was considered as a potential heir apparent to Roethlisberger, but had struggled as returning from a concussion suffered in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens. In the Steelers’ Week 11 loss at Cleveland, he had a 36.3 passer rating.
Hodges had played in two games while Rudolph was injured, going 22 of 29 for 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception.