Steelers are sticking with QB Mason Rudolph's 'hot hand' for their playoff trip to Buffalo

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024 in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mason Rudolph’s unlikely renaissance will continue into the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he is sticking with the former third-string quarterback ahead of a trip to AFC East champion Buffalo (11-6) on Sunday.

Rudolph is 3-0 as a starter since taking over for an ineffective Mitch Trubisky before a game against Cincinnati on Dec. 23. While starter Kenny Pickett has fully recovered from right ankle surgery in early December, Tomlin doesn’t want to chance derailing the rhythm Pittsburgh’s offense has found under Rudolph.

“We’re simply staying with the hot hand and not disrupting the apple cart,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “We’ve been in some tough circumstances. He’s delivered, we’ve delivered.”

Rudolph has thrown for 719 yards and three touchdowns without an interception while leading the Steelers to wins over the Bengals, Seattle and Baltimore as Pittsburgh (10-7) slipped past several teams to reach the playoffs for the 11th time in Tomlin’s 17-year tenure.

While Rudolph is in, star outside linebacker T.J. Watt is out. The NFL sack leader injured his left knee in the second half against Ravens. Rookie Nick Herbig and veteran Markus Golden will fill in for Watt as the Steelers try to win a postseason game for the first time since beating Kansas City in the divisional round of the 2016 playoffs.


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