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Steelers' Mike Tomlin: Mason Rudolph currently slated to be starting QB on Sunday vs. Seahawks

The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to keep rolling with Mason Rudolph following the quarterback's big win in Week 16.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the Steelers remain in the same position as last week, with Rudolph in line to start Sunday against Seattle as Pittsburgh monitors Kenny Pickett's (ankle) availability as the week progresses.

"We're in the same position with Kenny as we were last week," Tomlin said. "We'll give him a few reps and kind of see where that leads us. But just as I said a week ago, in this setting, Mason Rudolph is scheduled to be the quarterback for the week. And we'll see where Kenny is. We have the same mentality as we start this week."

Rudolph shined in Saturday's 34-11 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, throwing for 290 pass yards, two touchdowns, and no picks. It marked Rudolph's first victory as a starter since Week 12, 2019, at Cincinnati (16-10).

While Tomlin didn't rule out Pickett returning, Rudolph's play makes the Steelers comfortable riding the veteran with their postseason life hanging in the balance.

"Obviously, we have a great deal more comfort because of what we've seen in-stadium from Mason Rudolph," he said. "And that helps us. But we're still, really, in the same posture. He's got the ball to start the week, and we'll see where Kenny is from a mobility perspective and then kind of go from there and plan day by day based on the things we see from that perspective."

Rudolph was the first Pittsburgh QB to have 275-plus pass yards, two-plus passing TDs, and zero INTs in a game since Ben Roethlisberger in Week 16, 2020. He produced the highest passer rating (124.0) and most pass yards (290) by any Steelers QB in 2023 as Pittsburgh scored a season-high 34 points.

Pickett has missed the last three games after suffering an ankle injury in a Week 13 loss to Arizona. Mitchell Trubisky made the first two starts before Tomlin put the ball in Rudolph's hands in Week 16.

The Steelers' offense immediately got off to a better start with Rudolph under center, as the QB hit George Pickens in stride for an 86-yard catch-and-run TD on the opening drive. In the third quarter, Rudolph hit Pickens again on a deep shot for a 66-yard score.

The practice week will begin with Rudolph taking the first-team reps. After Pickett took individual work last week, the key will be whether the second-year quarterback handles any team snaps as we get closer to the weekend.

Tomlin declined to get into whether Pickett would be the starter if he's medically cleared.

"I'm not into hypotheticals," he said. "We'll see what the performance looks like tomorrow. Mason Rudolph has the ball as we stand here today."

At 8-7, the Steelers sit in the No. 9 spot in the AFC playoff race, with games in Seattle and Baltimore to close the campaign

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