“I did not remember the play at all”, Mason Rudolph told reporters about the ugly hit that he took from Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas a couple of weeks ago, a hit that almost immediately caused him to lose consciousness and resulted in him suffering a concussion.
The second-year quarterback remained in the concussion protocol for the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, which caused him to miss their Week Six game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but he was cleared shortly after that, and was on the practice field with his teammates yesterday.
Elaborating on that hit, he said that he still remembers “everything before the play and after the play. It was weird. I had to go back and ask the coach, what was the play call because for some reason, just that play was kind of blank. But everything before and after was clear as day”.
That play was a big one in the game. It was third and long, and Rudolph was forced to scramble before finding an open James Washington. He got the ball out to his former college teammate, knowing that he would take a hit, for the big play, thinking that it would be the same as so many other hits he’s taken.
“It was a sweet spot, shut me out black. Probably been hit like that many times and that’s never happened. It was a weird deal”, Rudolph said. He told reporters that “the specialist said that it kind of shut off my brain, not my spinal cord, but my stem”.
As scary as the hit looked, almost everything that followed from that point on went about as well as it possibly could as he is set to return to the field. He was able to go back home that same night and sleep in his own bed with no worse than a slight headache. He said that he didn’t have any other significant symptoms, such as sensitivity to light.
Rudolph has been in the starting lineup since Week Three, having participated now in four games. He has completed 63 of 94 pass attempts at 67 percent passing, throwing for 646 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions, one of which was on Donte Moncrief, dropping the pass.
While his raw numbers look pretty good—he also has a quarterback rating of 102.5—the Steelers need him to play better than he had been before suffering the concussion, particularly when it comes to situational football. Of course, not just him, but the whole offense, is involved in the process of getting better, but with their starter back under center, they can get back on track.