Ben Roethlisberger ranks in the top 10 all-time of some of the most significant NFL passing statistics.
The Steelers (0-2) will visit Levi’s Stadium with Mason Rudolph at quarterback on Sunday to face the 49ers (2-0), who will be looking to open unbeaten after three games for the first time since 1998.
Roethlisberger will not be in uniform against the 49ers on Sunday after requiring season-ending elbow surgery. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he and his coaches were in the early stages of preparing to face the Roethlisberger-less Steelers when he met with the media on Monday afternoon in Santa Clara.
“Any time they don’t have Ben, that’s a huge deal,” Shanahan said. “Ben’s one of the best quarterbacks of our generation, so I know it’s got to be huge blow for them. But I know Rudolph will be ready. He’ll step in. They’ve always had a good scheme. They know what they’re doing. They got some other players out there, too.
“It’s still the NFL. It’s going to be a very tough game, but any time you lose a guy like Ben Roethlisberger . . . everyone knows how good he is, and I still think he’s underrated, so that’s a big blow for them.”
Roethlisberger ranks sixth all-time with 56,545 passing yards; seventh in touchdowns (363) and completions (4,651); and tied for ninth in career yards per pass attempt (7.8). He has earned six trips to the Pro Bowl and is a two-time Super Bowl champion.
The Steelers led Seattle 10-7 at halftime at the point Roethlisberger left the game with the injury. Rudolph played the entire second half and completed 12 of 19 pass attempts for 112 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his first NFL appearance.
The Steelers selected Rudolph (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) in the third round of the 2018 draft with the No. 76 overall selection. Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen , Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson – all chosen in the first round – were the only quarterbacks drafted ahead of Rudolph.
Rudolph was inactive for every game last season, as the Steelers went with Joshua Dobbs as the backup quarterback last season.
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Rudolph won the backup job over Dobbs to open this season, and the Steelers traded Dobbs last week to Jacksonville for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft.
On Monday, the Steelers placed Ben Roethlisberger on injured reserve and promoted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges from the practice squad to serve as Rudolph’s backup. Hodges originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent from Samford.