Steelers: Mike Tomlin won’t throw Mason Rudolph under the bus after tie

Mike Tomlin didn’t exactly have a glowing endorsement of Mason Rudolph after the Steelers tied Lions with Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID list.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to go with backup quarterback Mason Rudolph under center on Sunday after starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger self-reported COVID-19 symptoms on Saturday and entered the proper protocols set by the NFL. Since Rudolph usually takes most of the first-team reps in practice during the week, head coach Mike Tomlin fully expected him to deliver on Sunday in his tenth career start.

“He did what we expected him to do,” Tomlin said, via Trib Live. “He gave us a chance to win, but that’s not the first opportunity for him. This guy has been at it for a while, so we expected him to play well, and we thought he gave us a chance to win.”

Rudolph executed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards. One of those completions was a touchdown to James Washington while one of those incompletions fell into the hands of Detroit Lions’ linebacker Julian Okwara. The game ended after no team was able to put points on the board in overtime.

Mason Rudolph salvages a tie for Pittsburgh against the winless Detroit Lions.

Despite Rudolph giving the Steelers a chance to win on a cold and rainy afternoon at Heinz Field, the Steelers as a whole were not on their game. Linebacker T.J. Watt had a sack and two additional solo tackles before going down with a knee injury in the second half, knocking him out of the game.

Deionte Johnson and Pat Freiermuth each contributed a costly fumble in overtime that saw seven different drives and no scoring. Unbeknownst to running back Najee Harris, the game ended with a score of 16-16.

According to reports, Roethlisberger is fully vaccinated and will be cleared of COVID protocol and can return to the team as soon as he can complete two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart. Until then, Rudolph will be the starting quarterback.

The Steelers’ next game will be in Los Angeles against the Chargers for Sunday Night Football.

Published at Mon, 15 Nov 2021 16:24:47 +0000

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