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2020 South Side Questions: How Will Mason Rudolph Play In Return To Starting Lineup Against Cleveland?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: How will Mason Rudolph play in his first game against the Cleveland Browns since ‘The Troubles’?

Although it’s not the last time that he took the field, or even the last time he started a game, it’s fair to say that the last time Mason Rudolph stepped into the Browns’ stadium last year was the lowest point of his professional career—and not a very good day for his head, either.

That was, of course, the game in which he threw four interceptions, then got into a kerfuffle with the Browns’ Myles Garrett, which ultimately ended with the latter using the helmet of the former to smash the head that had previously resided in said helmet. It wasn’t a great look for anyone.

Garrett had previously said that he intended at some point—or that he would like to—reach out to Rudolph and talk over everything that happened, including his eventual accusation that Rudolph had hurled a racial epithet at him during the altercation. That does not appear to have ever happened, even though this won’t be the first game for which both were active—and in fact Rudolph even got into the game at the end the last time around due to the blowout score.

But what we’re really concerned with here is his on-field play, and he was straight dookie last year in Cleveland, completing 23 of 44 pass attempts for just 221 yards with one touchdown and a quartet of passes that went to the other team. So far this year, in brief playing time, he is 3-of-4 for nine yards.

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