The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday, and it looks like “Duck” season will be extended for another week, if not more.
Ater being benched midway through the second quarter vs. the New York Jets in Week 16, Mason Rudolph, who took over for Devlin Hodges, came into the game and was effective in getting the team 10 points in the quarter and tying the game 10-10 heading into halftime.
However, Rudolph was injured in the third quarter when B.J. Finney stepped on his foot and Rudolph was slammed into the turf onto his non-throwing shoulder. Hodges came back into the game and was unable to manufacture any points for the rest of the game.
The Steelers’ playoff hopes hang by a thread, and although there is a scenario where the Steelers could lose Sunday and still make the postseason, if they beat the Ravens on the road their chances of making the postseason increase significantly.
Just don’t expect them to have Mason Rudolph available to them anytime soon.
Reports are swirling how Rudolph’s shoulder will have him out this Sunday in Week 17. This per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Steelers teammates have been told that Duck Hodges will be the starter Sunday. https://t.co/tWHJ1qTb48— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) December 23, 2019
To compound this report, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting Rudolph’s injury isn’t of the short term variety, meaning if the Steelers somehow make the playoffs it isn’t likely Rudolph would be available.
#Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, who had a left shoulder injury yesterday, is out multiple weeks, source says. Even if Pittsburgh gets into the playoffs, Rudolph is not expected to be available. It’s the going forward.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2019
Times are bleak within Steelers Nation, but it looks as if Hodges is the man with the responsibility of at least winning this Sunday to give the Steelers a realistic shot at making the playoffs. If he can’t, Paxton Lynch will be active for the first time since joining the Steelers as the primary backup.
What could go wrong? As we saw on Sunday...plenty.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Ravens on Sunday in the regular season finale.