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Mason Rudolph returns to practice in concussion protocol

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph returned to practice on Wednesday, but remains in the concussion protocol. We break down the fantasy football implications.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph looks for a receiver against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph suffered a scary injury in the team’s Week 5 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He took an illegal hit from safety Earl Thomas and appeared to lose consciousness. He was diagnosed with a concussion, and replaced by rookie Devlin Hodges for the remainder of the game.

It appears Rudolph is making good progress in recovering from the injury. He was taking part in practice on Wednesday, according to Steelers beat writer Ray Fittipaldo. Although Rudolph remains in the concussion protocol, it’s good to hear him back and taking part in team activities. To be cleared for football activities, he has to be asymptomatic at rest and after exertion. The team has two more practice participation reports before Sunday Night Football.

Fantasy football analysis, Steelers QBs Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges

Neither quarterback is a viable fantasy option, even against a shaky Chargers defense. The question is what it means for JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Vance McDonald, and others. Hodges looked decent in replacing Rudolph, throwing for 68 yards on nine attempts, while Rudolph has been fairly inconsistent since replacing Ben Roethlisberger.

Hodges seems the likely bet to start. You have to downgrade all your Steelers, but JuJu, Conner, and McDonald are all still worth starting for the time being.