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Steelers QB Controversy? Mike Tomlin Won’t Name Week 17 Starter



Steelers QB Mason Rudolph

PITTSBURGH — Mason Rudolph had a breakout performance in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 34-11 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, but head coach Mike Tomlin said it’s too soon to name a starting quarterback for the team’s next game next Sunday.

Rudolph was the Steelers’ last gasp option to save the season after the team lost three consecutive games following an injury to starter Kenny Pickett against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 2.

Rudolph pulled through and then some. He threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns for a 124 passer rating — easily the best Steelers passing performance of the season, and the best for any Steelers quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger had a 155 rating back in 2018.

Tomlin was appreciative of his quarterback’s efforts, but said it’s too soon to say who will start next week when the Steelers visit the Seattle Seahawks.

But Tomlin said that it’s “too early” to say whether Rudolph will get another start next week.

The other part of the equation for him besides Rudolph’s promising performance against the Bengals is the health of Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. Pickett returned to practice this week in a limited capacity, but was unable to get healthy enough to play in the game.

But he didn’t seem far off from returning from the high ankle sprain in his right ankle the required surgery. Tomlin didn’t rule Pickett out from playing on Saturday until after practice Thursday, so it’s reasonable to think that the starter might be healthy enough to play this week.

That would give the Steelers brass the quite the decision to make after Rudolph bested Picket’s career-best performance against Cincinnati.