Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks midway through and did not return. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed on Monday that Roethlisberger would miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury and that Mason Rudolph, who played quite well against the Seahawks in the second half, will take over for the foreseeable future.
That future includes three more games against the NFC West, including next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, so at least Seattle wasn’t the only team to face Roethlisberger and lose. Instead, they’ll be the only team to face Roethlisberger and win, while the rest of the division makes like December 24th and goes full Rudolph.
The Steelers are in San Francisco in Week 3, then host the LA Rams in Week 10, then go to Arizona to face the Cardinals in Week 14. By then, Rudolph could be in a rhythm and ready to be the QBOTF or perhaps he’s been replaced by QB3. It’s far too early to tell, but he looked good in his “dress rehearsal” against Seattle’s depleted and/or questionable secondary.
Rudolph finished 12-of-19 for 112 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception that was more the fault of Donte Moncrief. That’s Pittsburgh’s biggest issue right now perhaps — that every receiver outside of JuJu Smith-Schuster has looked kinda terrible.
The Steelers haven’t picked in the top 5 of the draft since 1970 (Terry Bradshaw, 1st overall) and they pick in the top-10 maybe once a decade. At 0-2 and staring down the barrel of 14 more games, “tank for (insert QB)” could be an unfamiliar chant heard around Pittsburgh for the next few months.
I remember Seattle being the last team to face Tony Romo a few years ago, opening the door for Dak Prescott. There are others because it became almost a disturbing trend for awhile, but perhaps you can refresh my memory. They are not expected to face Drew Brees next week as he suffered a hand injury against the LA Rams this week, meaning Teddy Bridgewater is likely to make his first meaningful NFL start since the 2015 playoffs when he faced ... the Seahawks.