Steelers QB Rudolph exits with head injury

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph was helped off the field during Sunday's loss to the visiting Baltimore Ravens after being knocked unconscious following a throw.

At 7:26 of the third quarter at Heinz Field, Rudolph scrambled to his left and completed a pass to James Washington, then was sandwiched by Ravens defenders Brandon Carr from behind and Earl Thomas from the front. It appeared Thomas hit Rudolph high, in his chin or head area.

Thomas received a penalty for roughing the passer.

Rudolph appeared to lose consciousness from the hit, falling to the turf without bracing himself and hitting his head on the ground. He remained motionless for several moments on the ground as teammates and the training staff crowded around him. Trainers removed the facemask of Rudolph's helmet and brought out a cart and stretcher, but neither was used, as he walked off the field with a good deal of assistance.

The Steelers reported Rudolph had a concussion and would not return to the game. He was initially evaluated at Heinz Field, then moved to a Pittsburgh-area hospital.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday night that Rudolph was allowed to go home to rest. He will be in the NFL's concussion protocol.

Rudolph, who has been playing because Ben Roethlisberger had season-ending elbow surgery, was replaced by Devlin Hodges.

Rudolph was 13 of 20 for 131 yards and a touchdown before getting hurt. Hodges went 7 of 9 for 68 yards in relief, as the Ravens prevailed 26-23 in overtime.

Meanwhile, the Ravens lost a pair of key starters to injury in the fourth quarter. Safety Tony Jefferson was taken off the field on a cart because of a left knee injury, and tight end Mark Andrews left after being tackled near his own goal line.

Jefferson got hurt while bringing down Pittsburgh tight end Nick Vannett. He was ruled doubtful and did not return.

Andrews' injury was unclear, though he has been battling a foot injury the past few weeks. He returned later in the fourth quarter.

--Field Level Media