Mason Rudolph Must Be More Than Just Steelers' Stopgap QB After Ben Roethlisberger Injury

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field on September 15, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers | Justin Berl/Getty Images

Not only are the Pittsburgh Steelers 0-2 to start the season, but they'll be without their starting quarterback for the rest of the year now that Ben Roethlisberger needs season-ending elbow surgery.

His loss is certainly a dagger to the heart of this team-- but it's also gives an opportunity to quarterback Mason Randolph, who was drafted in the third round out of Oklahoma State back in 2018.

Randolph isn't coming in to just play the position and see what happens. This is his opportunity to prove that he's the long-term answer in Pittsburgh.

Roethlisberger is 37 years old, and he's flirted with retirement in the past. You don't think that's a possibility after a serious injury that is going to cost him an entire year?

No, Randolph doesn't need to win 10-plus games immediately to prove he's a legit quarterback, but he has to have some signature moments and have this team in a competitive spot.

Whether he wants to admit it or not, this is Randolph's moment to prove he can start under center in Pittsburgh and move the needle. The 2020 NFL Draft class is loaded with quarterbacks, and if the Steelers sink to the bottom of the NFL, Rudolph could find himself supplanted by a heralded prospect.

The time is now. This is his team if he wants it.