PITTSBURGH — After Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw an interception to set up the New England Patriots’ second touchdown, the fans at Acrisure Stadium started chanting for his backup, Mason Rudolph.
Trubisky, who had one interception overturned by a penalty before throwing a second while attempting to find Pat Freiermuth in triple coverage. Jabrill Peppers easily intercepted it and returned it to the Steelers 11-yard line, setting up the second Patriots score as they took a 14-3 lead.
Before the New England touchdown, while Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith was on the field being attended to for a neck injury, a “Mason Rudolph” chant broke out at Acrsiure Stadium.
Steelers stadium chanting “Mason Rudolph” pic.twitter.com/gCFXiSbDHo
— Jordan Schofield (@JSKO_PHOTO) December 8, 2023
Trubisky made his first start of the season in place of Kenny Pickett, who suffered a high ankle sprain that required surgery in the Steelers’ Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. In three relief appearances this season, he is 29 of 49 for 273 yards, with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 71.2 passer rating.
Rudolph hasn’t played in a game since the 2021 season, when he started in place of Ben Roethlisberger, who was out with COVID-19 against the Detroit Lions. Rudolph finished that game 30 of 50 for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also appeared in one garbage time appearance that season.
The Steelers’ third-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2018, Rudolph has played in 17 games and made 10 starts, with a career completion percentage of 61.5% and an 80.9 passer rating.
The Steelers only have two quarterbacks active for the game. Pickett was scratched and is expected to miss multiple weeks. Trace McSorley was signed to the practice squad this week, but was not elevated for the game.