The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into their bye week and quarterback Mason Rudolph heads into it still in concussion protocol, according to team spokesman Burt Lauten. Rudolph wasn’t allowed to talk to the media on Tuesday because of him still being in protocol.
This latest statement from the Steelers conflicts with a Monday report from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dulac reported on Monday that Rudolph was cleared by an independent neurologist during the week and wanted to play in the Sunday night road game against the Chargers. Ultimately Rudolph was ruled out for the game against the Chargers on the team’s Friday injury report after only practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Rudolph has been in concussion protocol since getting knocked out by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas in the third quarter of the Steelers Week 5 home game. While he did travel with the Steelers to Los Angeles for their Sunday night game against the Chargers, he was one of the team’s seven inactive players and listened in to offensive play calls on the sideline throughout the contest.
The Steelers next game is 13 days away and will be played at Heinz Field against the Miami Dolphins. With the team now on their bye, we’ll likely have to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday to find out of Rudolph is out of protocol and if the plan is for him to practice fully ahead of the Monday night game against the Dolphins. Assuming Rudolph is cleared and is a full practice participant ahead of the team’s Week 8 game against the Dolphins, early speculation is that he’ll start that contest.
The Steelers still have quarterback Paxton Lynch on their 53-man roster after promoting him from their practice squad this past Friday. Lynch was the Steelers backup Sunday night to rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges, who made his first career start against the Chargers.