With the offense struggling and their playoff hopes on the line, the Pittsburgh Steelers replaced Devlin “Duck” Hodges at quarterback, installing Mason Rudolph against the New York Jets on Sunday.
However, at the 13:24 mark of the fourth quarter, Hodges was back in the game after Rudolph suffered a left shoulder injury when he was jammed to the ground by multiple Jets’ defenders. The Steelers listed him as questionable to return.
Rudolph entered the game with 9:20 remaining in the second quarter and the Steelers trailing 10-0. After Rudolph moved the offense 15 yards in six plays, the Steelers punted. But on the next two possessions, Rudolph led a 10-play, 55-yard scoring drive that led to a Chris Boswell 49-yard field goal, then hit Diontae Johnson with a 29-yard touchdown pass four seconds before halftime.
Rudolph was 14-of-20 passing for 129 yards and the touchdown.
Hodges, a rookie from Samford, completed 7 of 9 pass attempts for 53 yards but threw two crucial interceptions, including one in the end zone, before being lifted in the first half.
Running back James Conner also left the game in the second quarter and did not return. He was ruled out in the third quarter with a thigh injury. On the day, he carried six times for 32 yards, with a long of 15.
Center Maurkice Pouncey also was carted off the field at the end of the third quarter after suffering an apparent left leg injury.
Hodges started the past four games for the Steelers, posting a 3-1 record. He took over for Rudolph, who started eight games after Ben Roethlisberger had season-ending surgery on his right (throwing) elbow.
The Steelers entered the game at 8-6 and in control of their destiny to earn a wild-card entry into the AFC playoffs.
–Field Level Media