Steelers Dec 4, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; The helmet of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the field during warm up prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves right in the thick of the highly competitive AFC playoff picture with two weeks left to go in the NFL regular season. A week 17 victory for the Steelers is crucial for their postseason hopes, and head coach Mike Tomlin had officially named the team’s starting quarterback for that game.

Second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett has been nursing an ankle injury that has caused him to miss the team’s last three games. In his absence, the team has tried out both Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph as their starter.

Rudolph thrived in his lone start of the season in Week 16, helping the Steelers come away with an impressive victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. And it looks like he will be rewarded for his solid play.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Rudolph has been named the starter for their Week 17 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

This is certainly an interesting choice, particularly because Rapoport added that Week 17 was supposed to be the week that Kenny Pickett may be able to return for the Steelers.

Rapoport’s framing of this report may not be entirely correct. Tomlin did state in a press conference on Tuesday that this decision is not set in stone and that they will “see where Kenny (Pickett) is in his recovery process.

He did add that Rudolph will for sure be the starter should Pickett not be healthy enough to play. But it still seems like a possibility that Pickett could end up returning to his starting role over Rudolph should he be deemed healthy enough to return.

Regardless of who the starter is in Pittsburgh, they will likely need to propel this team to a flawless end of the season to keep their postseason hopes alive.

It is must-win territory for the team moving forward. They have the same record as four other teams in the AFC and are currently on the outside looking in on a postseason spot due to the Indianapolis Colts holding a tiebreaker over them.

[Ian Rapoport on Twitter/X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.