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Steelers QB Mason Rudolph to start over healthy Kenny Pickett vs. Ravens

With their playoff hopes still alive entering Week 18, the Steelers are riding the hot hand at quarterback.

Mason Rudolph will start for Pittsburgh in Saturday's regular-season finale against Baltimore, head coach Mike Tomlin announced Monday.

The decision to continue with Rudolph means the Steelers are choosing the veteran backup over a healthy Kenny Pickett, amounting to a benching for the second-year signal-caller. It can easily be explained by the Steelers as simply choosing the player with more recent on-field reps, but because Pickett hasn't solidified his place as the Steelers' top option, the decision does call into question Pickett's long-term viability.

In two starts, Rudolph has ignited a previously dormant Steelers offense, completing 35 of 51 passes for 564 yards and two touchdowns. Pittsburgh has won both of Rudolph's starts, putting 30-plus points on the board in each contest for the first time in the 2023 season.

With a must-win game ahead of them in Week 18, Tomlin is wisely proceeding with the quarterback who has produced the best results for the Steelers this season, albeit in a small sample size.

Rudolph will attempt to make it three straight wins Sunday against the Ravens, who have caused plenty of problems for both Tua Tagovailoa and Brock Purdy in their last two games, but may not play all of their key defenders in a contest that doesn't matter to their playoff position.

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