Steelers Bench Mason Rudolph for Devlin Hodges

The QB was benched early in the third quarter against the Bengals

Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on October 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on October 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / November 24, 2019 4:44 pm

It’s been a rough week for Mason Rudolph. After being slapped with a $50,000 fine for his role in the brawl with the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback was benched in the third quarter of the Steelers’ 16-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday (Nov. 24), replaced with backup Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

After opening the third quarter trailing the winless Bengals 7-3 and getting sacked for a loss of 13 yards, Rudolph was eventually benched after the Steelers’ third three-and-out of the afternoon. He finished the day completing just eight of 16 pass attempts for 65 yards with one interception.

However, the Steelers’ offense picked up once Hodges entered the game and connected with James Washington for a 79-yard touchdown on his first drive — the Steelers’ first touchdown since the third quarter of their 21-7 loss in Cleveland last week.

“I just felt like our offense needed a spark,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters after the game. “Mason wasn’t doing enough. Duck came in and gave us a spark.”

Since taking over for Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2 after Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury, Rudolph has thrown for 1,551 yards with 12 touchdowns to eight interceptions. His QBR of 35.0 ranks 31st in the NFL. Hodges previously took over for him in Week 5 when Rudolph suffered a concussion against the Ravens.

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