The Steelers announced last week that quarterback Mason Rudolph cleared the concussion protocol and was in line to return to the starting lineup against the Dolphins on Monday night in Week Eight.
Rudolph missed one game as a result of the concussion he suffered against the Ravens in Week Five and it seemed like he’d be out for a longer period of time given the fact that he was knocked out by the hit to the head from Earl Thomas.
Rudolph said on Monday that the way Thomas hit him was a “freak thing” that “kind of shut off my brain, not my spinal cord, but my stem.” He doesn’t remember the hit, but passed all of the testing and says he isn’t going to change anything about his game as a result of the experience.
“You can’t play looking over your shoulder,” Rudolph said, via the team’s website. “I’m not going to think twice about it. I’m going to go play the game that I’ve always played with aggressiveness, and if I need to extend the play, that’s what’s going to happen. I’m not going to think twice about worrying about getting hit in the right spot. That’s just the luck of the draw. It happens. A freak thing and I’m going to move on from it.”
Rudolph said he felt he could have played in Week Six before the Steelers took their bye week, but that it was the best thing for his long-term health to stay out.