Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made the announcement Tuesday. Rudolph was sent to the bench in Week 12 during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals after he was 8-for-16 with 85 passing yards and an interception. Hodges replaced him and led the Steelers to a 16-10 win.
Tomlin told reporters that he was choosing to start Hodges because “he has not killed us,” according to ESPN. He added that it was a one-week decision and wouldn’t commit past Sunday.
The decision by Tomlin also nixes any chance – at least for the time being – of any retaliation or escalation of a fight between Rudolph and Browns players more than two weeks after Myles Garrett took the quarterback’s helmet off and hit him with it during a fight.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) passes during the first half an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Garrett was suspended indefinitely while Rudolph was fined $50,000. Garrett accused Rudolph of using a racial slur which escalated the brawl, but Rudolph has denied the allegation several times.
The Browns got the best of the Steelers during their first matchup this season, 21-7. In that game, Rudolph was 23-for-44 passing with 221 passing yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.
This season, Rudolph has 1,636 passing yards, 12 touchdown passes and nine interceptions in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger.