The Pittsburgh Steelers won their second game of 2019 in Week 6 with Devlin Hodges at quarterback because Mason Rudolph remained in the NFL’s concussion protocol. This isn’t breaking news, or even news at all, but then came reports of Rudolph being cleared by an independent neurologist. In this scenario it was the Steelers, not the NFL’s concussion protocol, which kept Rudolph out of the game on Sunday Night Football.
According to reports, the team had prepared a game plan built around Hodges, and they didn’t want to stray away from that plan. However, while some reports stated the Steelers quarterback was out of the protocol, others said the opposite.
Nonetheless, Steelers Public Relations Director Burt Lauten put the rumors to bed when he released a statement to media Tuesday. This from Ed Bouchette of The Athletic:
From Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten on QB Mason Rudolph:— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 15, 2019
“Mason remains in the concussion protocol and has not been cleared by the independent neurological consultant. Until he is cleared, and per the concussion protocol, he will not be made available to the media.”
The statement reads:
“Mason [Rudolph] remains in the concussion protocol and has not been cleared by the independent neurological consultant. Until he is cleared, and per the concussion protocol, he will not be made available to the media.”
The Steelers are now entering their bye week, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the black-and-gold. Rudolph is just one of many who is working his way back to the field in some fashion. Some of the players who are banged up entering the bye week include:
T.J. Watt (oblique)
Steven Nelson (groin)
Mark Barron (hamstring)
James Washington (shoulder)
Jaylen Samuels (knee)
Roosevelt Nix (knee)
Vance McDonald (shoulder)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe)
Devin Bush (ankle)
Joe Haden (groin)
James Conner (quad)
This list doesn’t include players who are nursing injuries which don’t hinder them from practicing, therefore don’t go on the team’s official weekly injury report.
Now the team will turn their attention to the Miami Dolphins at home on Monday Night Football in Week 8 in hopes of winning back-to-back games for the first time in 2019. Could this be the start of a winning trend for the Steelers? Only time will tell...