Quarterback Mason Rudolph may see his first game action since last year this Sunday. After the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Mitch Trubisky this offseason and drafted Kenny Pickett, Rudolph fell down the pecking order. Despite a good training camp and preseason, Rudolph was QB3 on the depth chart entering Week One and has yet to receive a helmet on game day.
Despite Rudolph’s lack of game action, or even simply uniform wearing this season, head coach Mike Tomlin recently praised Rudolph, calling him “quarterback 2A,” after Mitch Trubisky. Today, Rudolph met with the media and was asked if he feels the same as Tomlin that he is QB-2A and not QB3.
“I feel like I hadn’t been active on Sunday,” Rudolph replied via Steelers.com.
Tomlin may say he believes that Rudolph is 2A but his actions have said otherwise. Starting the season, the depth chart listed Trubisky as QB1, Pickett as QB2, and Rudolph as QB3. Pickett ended up taking over the starting job, but even then Trubisky has still been placed above on the depth chart. In addition, Rudolph has had to fight to get reps, as Matthew Marczi wrote yesterday.
However, after Trubisky’s performance on Sunday resulted in three interceptions and a loss against the Baltimore Ravens, Tomlin may be thinking it is time for Rudolph to jump Trubisky in the depth chart. It has been reported that both Rudolph and Trubisky split first-team reps today while Pickett is in concussion protocol.
With that being the case, comparing Rudolph’s last start to Trubisky’s game on Sunday, Rudolph looks like the better quarterback. In the Steelers tie vs the Detroit Lions last season, Rudolph threw the ball 50 times and only turned it over once while also tossing a touchdown. Rudolph had his team in position to win the game a couple of times in overtime but drops and fumbles cost the Steelers a win. Trubisky, on the other hand, threw three picks when the Steelers had good field position which played a big part in the loss.
Since he’s been on the Steelers, Rudolph has rarely done anything to hurt the Steelers when playing. Since 2020, he has been an overall net positive when playing, putting in a really good performance in Week 17 in 2020 to almost beat the Cleveland Browns. While Rudolph normally won’t win you a game, he also won’t lose you a game.
Trubisky committed the cardinal sin of a backup quarterback and lost the game for the Steelers last Sunday. Because of that, there is a QB competition again, and don’t be shocked if Tomlin turns to Rudolph who despite being “2A” might very well be the safer option.