League sources told ESPN and NFL Media on Monday that Rudolph could be out multiple weeks due to the left shoulder ailment. With Rudolph sidelined, the Steelers will stick with Devlin Hodges as the team's starting quarterback in the regular-season finale.
The Steelers benched Hodges during Sunday's matchup against the New York Jets after he tossed two first-half interceptions. With the Jets holding a 10-0 lead in the second quarter, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin inserted Rudolph into the game.
Rudolph threw a touchdown pass near the end of the first half to tie the score but was injured on a hit in the second half, putting Hodges back in the game. The Steelers went on to suffer a 16-10 loss to the Jets.
"Week in and week out, even though there were weeks I didn't know if I was going to play or not, I've been preparing like I was going to play," Lynch told reporters Monday. "I know there was a week in Los Angeles that I got bumped up and was one play away from playing. That has been my mindset since I got here: Prepare and get up to speed as fast as I could if my number is called."
For the Steelers to reach the postseason, they must win at the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and need the Tennessee Titans to lose at the Houston Texans. Pittsburgh also could make the playoffs with a loss but would require help from multiple teams.
Rudolph, playing in his second NFL season, has completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 1,765 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 10 games.