Duck Hodges Named Steelers Starting Quarterback, Mason Rudolph Benched

Ryan Phillips
Duck Hodges
Duck Hodges / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Welcome to the Devlin "Duck" Hodges Era, Steelers fans. On Tuesday, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin named Hodges the team's starting quarterback after Mason Rudolph was benched during the team's 16-10 win over the abysmal Cincinnati Bengals.

After replacing Rudolph on Sunday, Hodges was 5-for-11 for 118 yards, with a touchdown and led the Steelers to victory. Rudolph had been 8-for-16 for 85 yards and an interception before being sent to the pine.

Hodges has seen action in three games this season, completing 27 of 40 passes (67.5 percent), for 318 yards (7.9 yards per attempt), with two touchdowns and an interception. The rookie out of Samford is a champion duck caller, hence his nickname.

When asked why he chose Hodges over Rudolph, Tomlin's answer was simple:

Rudolph had been pretty bad all season. The 24-year-old was a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft but hadn't shown much development after stepping in for the injured Ben Roethlisberger this season. In nine games, Rudolph has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 1,636 yards, with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He's also fumbled four times and averaged just 6.2 yards per attempt. His QBR ranked an awful 33rd in the NFL.

Hodges likely gives the Steelers the best chance to win at this point. If they were attempting to just tank for a decent draft pick that would be one thing, but they traded their first-rounder to the Dolphins in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick. They want to win now and at 6-5 they're still in the AFC playoff hunt.