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Mike Tomlin Announces Steelers' Plan At Quarterback

A closeup of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin holding a challenge flag.

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts in the first half during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Mike Tomlin appears to have his made his decision about who will start at quarterback for the Steelers on Sunday.

Tomlin appeared on Pittsburgh's 93.7 The Fan to talk about the team's QB situation, the Chargers, and more.

Per 93.7's Andrew Filliponi, the Steelers will "build" their plan around Mason Rudolph starting this week.

"We're gonna build our plan around Mason Rudolph [starting]," Tomlin stated. The 26-year-old backup was 30-50 for 242 yards, with a touchdown and a pick in Pittsburgh's OT tie versus the Detroit Lions. However, the "plan" for Rudolph and Roethlisberger is pretty similar, so it's still possible Big Ben gets the nod. https://twitter.com/alex_kozora/status/1460661104758165514?s=21 All eyes were on Rudolph stepping in place of future Hall-of-Famer Ben Roethlisberger, who's dealing with COVID-19. The fifth-year QB was fairly steady in his first start of 2021, outside of an ugly interception in the first quarter. Some fans were calling for Ohio State product Dwayne Haskins to start. However, it's been reported the 24-year-old QB may have squandered his opportunity due to a lack of maturity.

Rudolph even graded out as the 14th best performance out of all quarterback's by Pro Football Focus. That's about all the Steelers can ask for until Big Ben gets back.

No doubt, the absence of emerging receiver Chase Claypool and Pro Bowler JuJu Smith-Schuster made things a bit tougher on Rudolph.

That said, the veteran backup did enough to keep Pittsburgh in the game, even if it wasn't enough to get them over the hump and tie Baltimore atop the AFC North standings.

There's a good chance Roethlisberger misses a second straight game. The 39-year-old would have to register two negative COVID tests in a row.

Until then, Tomlin says, Rudolph is the answer.