Mason Rudolph

Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback #2
Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback #2
© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Rudolph News

Will be inactive Week 1

Rudolph (coach's decision) will be inactive for Sunday's season-opening matchup against the Bengals, Brooke Pryor of reports.

Analysis: After initially being labeled as the No. 2 quarterback on the Week 1 depth chart, Rudolph has since been moved to the third spot behind expected starter Mitch Trubisky and rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he doesn't anticipate dressing three quarterbacks Sunday, leaving Rudolph as the odd man out. Barring injuries, Rudolph figures to be a regular on the inactive list.

Sep 6, 2022 9:34 AM EST

Back to third on depth chart

Rudolph is listed as the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback on the team's most recent Week 1 depth chart released Tuesday, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Analysis: The Steelers featured Rudolph as their No. 2 quarterback on the first Week 1 depth chart that was released Monday, but Mike Garafolo of NFL Network suggests that the listing was an error. Considering Rudolph was the third quarterback to enter the Steelers' Aug. 20 preseason finale and played the entire second half of the contest, he had been expected to enter the regular season behind both Mitch Trubisky and rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett on the depth chart. Head coach Mike Tomlin will clarify the Steelers' quarterback situation when he meets with the media later Tuesday, at which time Trubisky will likely be formally named the starter and Pickett the top backup. The Steelers aren't expected to keep three quarterbacks active most weeks, so Rudolph could quickly become a regular on the inactive list.

Sep 6, 2022 8:29 AM EST

Appears second on depth chart

Pittsburgh lists Rudolph as its No. 2 quarterback on the first regular-season depth chart that was released Monday, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Meanwhile, Mitch Trubisky sits atop the depth chart, and though head coach Mike Tomlin hasn't yet announced a starter for the Week 1 game in Cincinnati, the expectation is that Trubisky will get the nod. Rudolph's placement on the depth chart ahead of rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett is perhaps more surprising, given that Rudolph worked with the third-string offense during Pittsburgh's preseason finale. It's possible that Rudolph is being listed second on the depth chart in deference to his status as a veteran, and Pickett may be the likelier candidate among the two signal-callers to pick up a start if Trubisky is benched or misses time at any point in 2022.

Sep 5, 2022 1:09 PM EST

Tops 100 passing yards in win

Rudolph completed 17 of 21 pass attempts for 127 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions during the Steelers' 16-15 preseason win over the Jaguars on Saturday.

Analysis: Rudolph was the third quarterback to enter Saturday's matchup for the Steelers, but he led the team's signal-callers in playing time since he was on the field for the entire second half. The 2018 third-rounder was efficient for a second consecutive week, and he threw a go-ahead touchdown pass with under a minute remaining in the matchup. While Rudolph's preseason play has been strong, he worked mainly with the Steelers' third-team offense this week, while Kenny Pickett has played primarily with the second-stringers. Rudolph's strong results during the preseason strengthen his case for a spot on Pittsburgh's 53-man roster, but it's possible that he'll be forced to settle for the No. 3 job under center to begin the regular season.

Aug 21, 2022 10:01 PM EST

Expected to enter third among QBs

Head coach Mike Tomlin said Rudolph is set to close out Saturday's preseason exhibition against the Jaguars behind Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, Brooke Pryor of ESPN reports.

Analysis: In last week's preseason opener against the Seahawks, Rudolph completed nine-of-15 passes for 93 yards and one score while working behind Trubisky. The 2018 third-rounder is in line to play behind Pickett (a 2022 first-round pick) for the team's upcoming contest against the Jaguars on Saturday, after Rudolph mainly worked with Pittsburgh's third-team offense throughout practice this week, per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. With reference to Saturday's QB pecking order, head coach Mike Tomlin communicated that he wants Pickett to experience "more varsity action," while Rudolph is a player the coaching staff has familiarity with. Regardless, it seems like Trubisky is the presumed starter while the immediate backup job is still up in the air.

Aug 18, 2022 1:11 PM EST

Works mainly with third-stringers

Rudolph worked primarily with the Steelers' third-team offense during Monday's practice session, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Rudolph appeared to be the No. 2 option at quarterback over the first few weeks of training camp and was the second quarterback to take the field during Saturday's preseason opener against Seattle. All three of Pittsburgh's signal-callers played well Saturday, including Rudolph, who completed nine of 15 pass attempts for 93 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. However, rookie Kenny Pickett drew most of the snaps with the second-team offense at practice Monday. The team's coaching staff said that Pickett's advancement Monday was pre-planned rather than resulting from his play Saturday. Mitch Trubisky seems to be the frontrunner for the starting job under center, and it's safe to wonder whether Rudolph will be able to keep pace for the No. 2 job -- or a spot on the 53-man roster -- if Pickett and Trubisky continue to perform well.

Aug 15, 2022 8:00 PM EST

Throws for 93 yards in win

Rudolph completed nine of 15 pass attempts for 93 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 32-25 preseason win over the Seahawks.

Analysis: Rudolph was the second Steelers quarterback to enter Saturday's preseason opener, and he connected with rookie receiver George Pickens for a 26-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone late in the first quarter. Rudolph has had some reps with the first-team offense over the first few weeks of training camp, but Mitch Trubisky has looked like the frontrunner for the starting job under center. However, Rudolph certainly didn't hurt his case with his efficient performance against Seattle.

Aug 13, 2022 7:53 PM EST

Expects to receive first-team reps

Rudolph said Tuesday that he expects to get reps with the first-team offense during practice in the coming days, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Analysis: The Steelers have given Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett work with the starters among the first few days of camp, but both of those quarterbacks have shown some signs of inconsistency. Rudolph has also experienced some struggles early in training camp, but he appears to be firmly in the mix for the starting job under center ahead of the regular season. The 27-year-old connected with rookie Calvin Austin on a deep ball down the left sideline to end Tuesday's practice session, and Rudolph should have a chance to build a rapport with the team's starters in the near future. Rudolph was believed to be on the roster bubble earlier, but he's making a case for a starting role now that training camp is underway.

Aug 3, 2022 11:23 AM EST

Could be on roster bubble

Rudolph isn't guaranteed a roster spot with the Steelers in 2022 after the team drafted Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Rudolph will likely be in consideration for the starting quarterback job during camp, but Mitch Trubisky and Pickett seem like the much stronger options in the competition. While the 26-year-old Rudolph initially appeared to be in line for the No. 2 job to begin the season, Kaboly reports that the Oklahoma State product could struggle to make Pittsburgh's 53-man roster.

Apr 28, 2022 10:07 PM EST

In line for backup role

Rudolph will begin OTAs as the Steelers' backup quarterback since the Mitchell Trubisky agreed to a two-year deal with the team Monday, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Rudolph looked like he had a chance to serve as Pittsburgh's starter under center after Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement earlier in the offseason, but Trubisky will now be the clear favorite to take the starting job after spending a year behind Josh Allen in Buffalo. After filling in during 10 games in 2019, Rudolph has made seven appearances across the last two seasons and has completed 60 of 101 passes for 601 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 12 times for 47 yards.

Mar 14, 2022 12:09 PM EST

Could take starting job next year

Rudolph could be the Steelers' starting quarterback in 2022, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Ben Roethlisberger is expected to retire, while Rudolph is under contract with the Steelers through 2022 thanks to a one-year extension (signed last spring) worth slightly more than $4 million -- decent money for a backup but far from what most starters make. Of course, Rudolph's odds of starting will depend on the alternatives as much as anything else, and it isn't yet clear if Pittsburgh will make a move for any of the high-profile, disgruntled, veteran QBs that may be available this offseason. Even if they don't, Rudolph won't necessarily be a lock to start, potentially facing competition from Dwayne Haskins, Joshua Dobbs or someone new who the Steelers bring in.

Jan 18, 2022 6:50 AM EST

Makes two appearances in 2021

Rudolph completed 35 of 58 passes for 277 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing five times for 53 yards across two appearances during the 2021 regular season.

Analysis: Rudolph made one start for the Steelers in 2021 after Ben Roethlisberger tested positive for COVID-19, and he had plenty of volume with 50 pass attempts in the Week 10 tie against the Lions. He made an appearance in relief during the team's Week 16 matchup against Kansas City and should remain the top backup heading into the playoffs. Roethlisberger has publicly expressed that he's weighing retirement following the 2021 campaign, so Rudolph could have a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job in Pittsburgh next year.

Jan 11, 2022 3:34 PM EST

Returns to backup role

Rudolph will return to a backup role Sunday against the Chargers after Ben Roethlisberger (illness) was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Rudolph served as a spot starter in Sunday's Week 10 tie against Detroit and completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Although he performed relatively well in his interim role, he should remain in a reserve role as long as Roethlisberger is healthy.

Nov 20, 2021 3:16 PM EST

Attempts 50 passes

Rudolph completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception in Sunday's 16-16 tie against Detroit.

Analysis: Rudolph got a spot start in the place of Ben Roethlisberger (illness), though his effort was uninspiring even in a positive matchup. He averaged only 4.8 yards per attempt and regularly missed throws to open receivers, including an overthrow to Kalen Ballage late in the first quarter with the result being an interception. More positively, Rudolph did manage to lead the Steelers to a touchdown on the first drive of the game, which he capped with a nine-yard pass to James Washington. Rudolph remains in line to start in Week 11 against the Chargers should Roethlisberger fail to clear medical protocols and remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Nov 14, 2021 5:57 PM EST

In line to start Sunday

Rudolph is in line to start Sunday's game against the Lions after Ben Roethlisberger (undisclosed) was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Rudolph has yet to take the field in 2021, but he'll draw the start on short notice against Detroit. In his lone start for the Steelers last year, he completed 22 of 39 passes for 315 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Dwayne Haskins will presumably serve as the No. 2 option with Roethlisberger sidelined.

Nov 13, 2021 4:58 PM EST

Sitting out preseason finale

Coach Mike Tomlin said Rudolph will not suit up for Friday's preseason game against the Panthers, Brooke Pryor of reports.

Analysis: As Pryor notes, Rudolph joining Ben Roethlisberger on the bench Friday is an indication that he's locked up the No. 2 quarterback role for Pittsburgh. Dwayne Haskins will start the exhibition finale instead, with Joshua Dobbs available to relieve him at some point. Rudolph has logged 15 appearances with the Steelers over the last two seasons.

Aug 25, 2021 10:09 AM EST

Tops 100 yards in preseason win

Rudolph completed 13 of his 18 passes for 138 yards in Saturday's 26-20 preseason win over the Lions.

Analysis: Rudolph drew starts in each of the Steelers' first two preseason matchups, but he worked behind Ben Roethlisberger on Saturday. The 2018 third-rounder still led the team's quarterbacks in playing time, as he was on the field for 50 percent of the snaps in the win. Rudolph led Pittsburgh in passing yards as a result and strengthened his case for the No. 2 job under center. Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs will have one more chance to compete in Friday's preseason finale against Carolina, but Rudolph appears to be the frontrunner to serve as the Steelers' primary backup at quarterback.

Aug 22, 2021 10:16 AM EST

Accurate but ineffective Thursday

Rudolph completed eight of nine passes for 77 yards without a touchdown or turnover in Thursday's 24-16 preseason win over the Eagles.

Analysis: Despite his accuracy, Rudolph failed to lead the Steelers to any points on the team's first three drives, even while working with the starting skill position players. Dwayne Haskins then led a trio of touchdown drives over the next two quarters, and he remains hot on Rudolph's heels for the backup job behind Ben Roethlisberger. Both Rudolph and Haskins should get plenty of reps in next week's preseason tilt against the Lions.

Aug 12, 2021 8:53 PM EST

Another preseason start on tap

Rudolph will start Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles, Chris Adamski of reports.

Analysis: Per the report, the plan is for Ben Roethlisberger to sit this one out, while Dwayne Haskins is slated to enter the contest late in the first half, with Joshua Dobbs in line to finish the game. In this past Thursday's Hall of Fame game, a 16-3 win over the Cowboys, Rudolph completed six of nine passes for 84 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Aug 10, 2021 9:45 AM EST

Sharp in starting assignment

Rudolph completed six of nine passes for 84 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions and rushed once for no gain during the Steelers' 16-3 preseason win over the Cowboys in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game. He also lost a fumble.

Analysis: The veteran backup acquitted himself well while getting a chance to play with first-team wideouts Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson. The most productive drive Rudolph was a part of was his final one, which began early in the second quarter and included a 45-yard completion to Claypool. However, it culminated in a Samuel Sloman missed field goal from 49 yards out. One-time Washington Football Team first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, battling Rudolph for the No. 2 job behind Ben Roethlisberger, also turned in a solid performance, so the competition between the two figures to extend through the balance of the team's remaining three preseason contests.

Aug 5, 2021 8:10 PM EST

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