The last time that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph started against the Browns, he wound up being blasted in the head by a helmet-wielding Myles Garrett during a post-play fracas.
Rudolph will get another chance to face Garrett and the Browns in Week 17. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not play against Cleveland this weekend and that Rudolph will get the start in his place.
“I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to him about it, but I’m sure he’s excited about the opportunity to start,” Tomlin said of Rudolph.
Tomlin noted that the team can not move up to the top seed in the AFC and said other players may also sit out, but that the Steelers will be trying to win the game. A victory and a Bills loss would secure the No. 2 seed for Pittsburgh while a loss gives Buffalo the spot.
Any decision to rest starters will have an impact on the Wild Card race as well. The Browns are in the playoffs with a win and the path to victory would presumably look a little better against second-string players.