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Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Tomlin: Steelers ‘comfortable’ with how Mason Rudolph left field

Mason Rudolph surprisingly left the field mostly under his own power after suffering a serious head injury in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and Mike Tomlin has since indicated the team is “comfortable” over how a cart was not utilized.

How clearly and disturbingly dazed Rudolph appeared while being helped off the field has led to questions about why he was allowed to exit in such a manner. It merits noting that while a cart and stretcher were brought out onto the field while trainers and medical staff were attending to Rudolph, the cart reportedly was malfunctioning and apparently inoperable.

With all that in mind, Tomlin weighed in on the issue while addressing the media this week, saying everyone was on the same page before the quarterback was allowed to leave the field.

“Let me be clear because I didn’t really know what you guys were talking about when you asked me after the game,” Tomlin said Tuesday, via NFL.com. “There are two carts in our stadium — there’s probably two carts in every stadium. He walked off the field because he chose to walk off the field, and the medical experts were comfortable with his ability to walk off the field and the safety in it.

“Whether or not the cart was functioning is irrelevant to the fact that he walked off the field. To be quiet honest with you I didn’t know that the cart wasn’t functioning until after the game because I was more concerned with Mason.”

It merits noting that Tomlin had an interesting response when initially asked about the situation after the game.

“Ask somebody that’s in charge of that,” Tomlin said. “I don’t drive carts and things of that nature.”

That Rudolph was allowed to walk off the field is arguably concerning. Medical staff are in place to make decisions that are in the players’ best interest, and the case can be made given the incident’s optics that Rudolph was in no state to walk off on his own.