Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones will play Saturday afternoon against the Tennessee Titans. Only three quarterbacks in total will see action. You don’t have to be a math major to realize that leaves an odd man out – either Josh Dobbs or Mason Rudolph. At his press conference Thursday afternoon, Tomlin outlined that plan for his quarterbacks.
“That’s not the plan,” Tomlin said when asked if he would play all four QBs. “We’re going to play Ben, we’re going to play Landry. We’ll See how it goes from there. We’ll harden it up as we get closer but those two specifically are scheduled to play. Just like the other two were scheduled to play last week.”
It’s fair to assume Roethlisberger will play one quarter of action. Tomlin declined a specific answer when asked but referred to what the team has done in the past, which has been playing #7 the first 15 minutes and then getting him out of there. Jones will replace him and likely see the same amount of work, maybe a little bit into the third quarter.
From there? It seems up in the air. Rudolph started the first half last week, Dobbs the second, with very mixed results. Both threw a pick six on their first pass attempt and while Dobbs performed better, both left plenty to be desired.
Tomlin wasn’t asked how he would decide which of the two he’ll end up playing.
If it’s Rudolph, it’s a chance for him to shake off the mistakes he made last week and soak up valuable reps that will disappear in a couple weeks. Once the season begins and he’s the #3 QB, practice reps are scarce, and of course, the odds of him getting into a game are slim.
Should Tomlin choose Dobbs, it’ll be one of his last chances to try and convince the team to keep him around, though those odds look fleeting given the near certainty the Steelers are going to hold onto Landry Jones.
The silver lining for the odd man out is that there should be plenty of reps to go around in the preseason finale against Carolina. Roethlisberger obviously won’t play and I’d be shocked if Jones did either. Like the Packers game, either Dobbs or Rudolph will play the first half, the other coming in to finish out the game.