Despite Week 15 struggles, Steelers sticking with Devlin Hodges with playoffs on the line

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

Sunday night’s loss to the Buffalo Bills was by far the worst performance of Devlin Hodges’ brief NFL career, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are sticking with the rookie this Sunday against the New York Jets.

‘Opportunity to rebound’

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told media of his decision on Tuesday and said, “I look forward to giving him the opportunity to rebound.”

Hodges completed 23-of-38 passes for 202 yards against the Bills; he had one touchdown, but also four interceptions, which is two more than he’d had in his first five appearances this season combined (three starts). He also had a fumble.

Tomlin wouldn’t commit to Hodges immediately after the Bills game, but was supportive of the young player on Tuesday.

“It’s reasonable to expect him to learn from those negative experiences … and not make those same mistakes twice,” Tomlin said. He added that “there needs to be growth and development.”

Asked whether Hodges will have a short leash — meaning he’d be pulled for Mason Rudolph — Tomlin said, “I do not anticipate failure.”

Pittsburgh is 8-6 and currently holds the sixth and final AFC playoff berth, but the Tennessee Titans are also 8-6. However, the Titans host the 11-3 New Orleans Saints on Sunday, while Pittsburgh faces the 5-9 Jets.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will start quarterback Devlin Hodges this week. (AP/Keith Srakocic)