Ben Roethlisberger will not play in the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns, Mike Tomlin confirmed to reporters during his Tuesday press conference. Tomlin said Mason Rudolph will get the start in Week 17.
Mason Rudolph will start against Browns #Steelers
— Steelers Depot 🎄 (@Steelersdepot) December 29, 2020
“There’s one bye available in this single-elimination tournament,” Tomlin told reporters. “We’re not going to be that team. We made that bed so we’re going to lay in it. That’s the most significant variable for us. So that being said, getting the opportunity to air mail a player or two in the postseason, we will. Ben will not be playing this week. We’ll turn to Mason Rudolph and our young quarterback positional group.”
This will be Rudolph’s first start of the season and first since Week 12 last season. Rudolph was the starter last season following Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow surgery. But Rudolph struggled and dealt with injuries of his own.
Rudolph has appeared in four games this season. He’s completed three of his four passes for nine yards.
This will be a rematch of Rudolph vs Myles Garrett. Last year’s game ended with Garrett beating Rudolph over the head with his own helmet. Garrett was suspended for the rest of the regular season for his actions. It’ll likely be one of this week’s national storylines along with the Browns trying to clinch a playoff spot. Cleveland is in the postseason with a win. If they lose, they’ll need help.
Tomlin said he is open to resting other players but it’ll depend on positional health of the group.
“We’ll look to potentially rest other guys in terms of making them inactive. But the number of those guys and who those guys are will be determined as we push through the week. Player availability dictates that.”
Several Steelers missed last week’s game, including LB Marcus Allen, OLB Ola Adeniyi, and kicker Chris Boswell.