June 24, 2024

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced Monday that he’s sticking with Mason Rudolph about

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced Monday that he’s sticking with Mason Rudolph in the Week 18 finale against rival Baltimore.

Tomlin said the health of season-long starting quarterback Kenny Pickett is not in question. Pickett, who had been recovering from an ankle injury, returned to practice in limited fashion last week.

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“I think Kenny’s availability is less in question this week. That being said, we’re going to leave the ball in Mason Rudolph’s hands,” Tomlin told reporters.

Rudolph passed for 274 yards in the Steelers’ key 30-23 win at Seattle on Sunday. He didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception, completing 18 of 24 passes.

The Steelers (9-7) are currently the No. 9 seed in the AFC and would be out of the playoffs if the postseason started today. They do not control their own destiny and could still make the postseason with a loss, according to multiple scenarios:

The Steelers Are Playing Like It's The 1970s | FiveThirtyEight

1. Steelers win and Indianapolis-Houston tie or

2. Steelers win and Buffalo loss or

3. Steelers win and Jacksonville loss/tie or

Steelers tie and Colts and Texans do not tie and Jaguars lose or

 (Even with a Steelers loss) Indianapolis and Houston do not tie, Jacksonville loses and Denver wins

The Ravens (13-3) have secured home field — and a first-round bye — throughout the playoffs and have nothing on the line for Sunday’s game in Baltimore. It’s unclear if the team plans to rest key starters.

Pittsburgh Steelers on X: "MOOOOOOOOOOD https://t.co/qEBp7jw3ot" / X

The Steelers have opened as 3.5-point favorites.

Pickett has missed the past four games after suffering an ankle injury against Arizona in Week 13. Mitch Trubisky started the next two games, both losses, before Tomlin handed the ball to Rudolph, who is 2-0 as the starter.

Rudolph, 28, has completed 68.5 percent of his passes in his three appearances overall for 567 yards and two touchdowns. He has not thrown an INT.

Pickett has missed the past four games after suffering an ankle injury against Arizona in Week 13. Mitch Trubisky started the next two games, both losses, before Tomlin handed the ball to Rudolph, who is 2-0 as the starter.

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