PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Following a 2019 season where the Steelers were forced to use three different quarterbacks, 17th-year veteran Ben Roethlisberger returns from his Week 2 right elbow injury healthy and ready to start in 2020.
Currently, five spots on the 90-man roster are occupied by quarterbacks:
- J.T. Barrett, 1st Season
- Devlin Hodges, 2nd Season
- Mason Rudolph, 3rd Season
- Paxton Lynch, 4th Season
- Ben Roethlisberger, 17th Season
Projected ‘Starter on Sundays’: Ben Roethlisberger
The 38-year old has thrown 363 touchdowns and over 56,000 yards during his career and he isn’t finished yet. A healthy and confident Roethlisberger will lead the Steelers offense which provides Ben with both familiar (JuJu Smith-Shuster) and new (Chase Claypool) targets.
Reserves: Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges
Rudolph and Hodges split time as the quarterback in 2019 following the loss of Roethlisberger. By mid-season, it was Hodges stealing the spotlight from fans after Rudolph went down with an injury. Rudolph returned and attempted to steer the Black and Gold to the playoffs, but eventually fell short.
From a statistical perspective here’s how the two stacked up:
Rudolph: 176/283, 1,7675 yards, 13 TD, 9 INT
Hodges: 100/160, 1,063 yards, 5 TD, 8 INT
Coach Mike Tomlin will likely keep both Rudolph and Hodges around, but the No. 1 back-up spot could be something to stay tuned into as training camp progresses.
Battling for a Spot: J.T. Barrett and Paxton Lynch
Barrett, undrafted out of Ohio State in 2018, hasn’t had the start he expected since entering the NFL. He’s spent time with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks before landing in Pittsburgh in December 2019.
Lynch, a fourth-year player from Memphis, joined the Steelers in 2019 after playing in five games from 2016-2017 for the Denver Broncos. Following Rudolph’s injury in 2019, Lynch joined the active squad as a back-up.
With two healthy quarterbacks in Roethlisberger and Rudolph, and a young Duck Hodges now with NFL experience, the 53-man roster will probably force Barrett and Lynch to the outside looking in come September.
More Steelers Training Camp Previews: