Steelers preparing to start QB Mason Rudolph in Week 16 vs. Bengals, but Kenny Pickett not yet ruled out


After two starts in place of the injured Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky is out as the Steelers’ quarterback, coach Mike Tomlin announced Monday. Pittsburgh is instead preparing to start Mason Rudolph in Saturday’s Week 16 matchup with the Bengals, Tomlin explained, though Pickett has yet to be ruled out while recovering from an ankle injury.

“You don’t need more than two or three weekends to see a pattern, particularly one that you don’t like,” Tomlin told reporters. “So we’re not gonna sit on our hands and hope for a different outcome. … Our intention is to get Mason Rudolph an opportunity to start.”

Trubisky, who also started five games in 2022, went 0-2 while filling in for Pickett against the Patriots and Colts, totaling three interceptions and failing to eclipse 200 yards passing in each game.

“Why are we making the change?” Tomlin continued Monday. “Man, we don’t like what we’re looking at and the consistency of it. What I mean is we’re not scoring enough points. … The guy at that position is at the controls and does have a big say in how some things unfold. It’s really about Mason Rudolph being deserving of an opportunity.”

Tomlin added that Pickett, who went down in Week 13’s loss to the Cardinals, is progressing in rehab and “not out of the question” to suit up against Cincinnati, prompting the Steelers to “leave the door ajar” for his return. But this week’s practice will center on Rudolph getting first-team reps, he indicated, as the team looks to stay alive in the AFC playoff race.

Rudolph, who replaced Trubisky late in Sunday’s loss to the Colts, last started a game for the Steelers in 2021. The former third-round pick is finishing his sixth year with the team, and is perhaps best known for going 5-3 in place of an injured Ben Roethlisberger in 2019. He’s spent most of the last two seasons as the club’s No. 3 QB, behind Pickett and Trubisky.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that they will be starting Mason Rudolph at quarterback in their upcoming Week 16 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. This decision comes after Mitch Trubisky started the previous two games in place of the injured Kenny Pickett, but failed to perform well. Trubisky went 0-2 with three interceptions and struggled to pass for over 200 yards in each game. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stated that the team is not satisfied with the current performance and wants to give Rudolph an opportunity to start. However, Pickett’s return is not ruled out yet, and the team is keeping the door open for him. Rudolph, who replaced Trubisky in the last game, last started a game for the Steelers in 2021. He is best known for going 5-3 in place of Ben Roethlisberger in 2019. The Steelers are hoping that Rudolph can help keep their playoff hopes alive in the AFC.

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