Less than 24 hours before Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, Ben Roethlisberger tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, backup quarterback Mason Rudolph was thrust into the starting position with no preparation as the team’s QB1 throughout the week.
On Thursday, Rudolph shared his reaction to this surprise switch-up.
“Finding out last Saturday night right before I went to the hotel, you kind of go through those storms and you’re hardened from it,” he said, per ESPN.
Operating under a game plan tailored for Roethlisberger, Rudolph threw for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception in an overtime tie with the winless Lions.
Roethlisberger could return for this Sunday’s game against the Chargers, but it’s not a sure thing. The veteran QB will have to be asymptomatic for 48 hours and receive two negative tests separated by 24 hours.
With the possibility that Roethlisberger is unable to suit up, Rudolph is getting a full week of preparation as the potential starter. In Week 11, the Steelers will have a specific game plan tailored toward the backup’s preferences.
“[Offensive coordinator Matt] Canada does a great job of asking me,” Rudolph said. “Each week, we put out our favorite plays in the game plan. That hasn’t changed all year. So, they have a feel for what we prefer. There are maybe some concepts Josh Dobbs prefers over Ben [Roethlisberger], some concepts Ben prefers over me. They do a great job of tailoring that, like for me this week. I feel comfortable with the plan.”
Possibly with Mason Rudolph as its QB, Pittsburgh will kickoff against the Chargers in primetime on Sunday night.
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