It’s officially ‘‘Duck’’ season for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers ruled quarterback Mason Rudolph out for Sunday’s visit to the Los Angeles Chargers while he continues to recover from a concussion, meaning undrafted rookie free agent Devlin ‘‘Duck’’ Hodges will get the start when Pittsburgh faces the Chargers in prime time.
Rudolph was limited in practice all week after getting knocked unconscious by Baltimore’s Earl Thomas in the third quarter of an overtime loss to the Ravens. Hodges, a champion duck caller in his downtime, completed 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards and scrambled once for 21 yards after coming in for Rudolph. Paxton Lynch, signed to the practice squad after Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season with an elbow injury last month, will serve as Hodges’s backup against Los Angeles.
Hodges, who set a Football Championship Subdivision record for career passing yards at Samford before the Steelers signed him following a May tryout, drew praises from his more experienced teammates for his poise against the Ravens. They don’t expect that to change now that he’s had a full week to prepare.
‘‘One thing about Hodges is he’s going to throw it regardless,’’ wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said. ‘‘He trusts it to us, he puts it out there . . . Either we catch it, nobody catches it, and that’s when he runs it. He’s very confident in the huddle.’’
Ramsey status unsettled
The Jaguars listed cornerback Jalen Ramsey as questionable to play against New Orleans.
Coach Doug Marrone made the designation Friday, a day after owner Shad Khan said he expects the disgruntled defender to return following a two-week absence because of an apparent back injury.
Khan told The Street he had a ‘‘heart to heart’’ with Ramsey earlier this week and ‘‘I think we’ll be able to come to what makes sense for all.’’
It’s unclear if that means trading Ramsey or repairing his fractured relationship with the franchise.
Darnold ready for takeoff
Sam Darnold stepped to the podium as the Jets’ starting quarterback again, his once-swollen spleen no longer keeping him from playing in a game.
Nearly a month of medical tests, tough questions, major concerns and big-time frustration is over. And so is Darnold’s time on the sideline.
‘‘The spleen is good, finally,’’ a smiling Darnold said. ‘‘I finally get to wear a white jersey out there and be part of the team. It’s been good to be back officially and get some practices under my belt.’’
Darnold will start Sunday at home against Dallas, his first game since the season opener. A bout with mononucleosis sidelined him for three games after being diagnosed on Sept. 11. Darnold will wear customized protective padding around his ribs/spleen area, likely for the rest of the season, just as a precaution.
Meanwhile, the Jets are unlikely to have linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin), left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee, shoulder), or defensive end Henry Anderson (shoulder) against the Cowboys because of injuries. All three are listed as doubtful.
The Rams will likely be without Todd Gurley in Sunday’s pivotal NFC West showdown with the 49ers. Coach Sean McVay said that the star running back is doubtful for the Week 6 tilt after missing practice this week due to a quad injury suffered in last Thursday’s loss at Seattle. McVay also announced starting corner Aqib Talib is out Sunday . . . Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill practiced with the scout team and a bit with the offense this week but coach Andy Reid said he’d be a gametime decision for Sunday’s game against the Texans. Hill has been out since suffering a clavicle injury in Week 1 . . . Tight end Hunter Henry took part in all drills during the Chargers’ practice Friday, leaving open the possibility that he could play in Sunday night’s game against the Steelers. Henry has missed the past four games due to a knee injury. Defensive end Melvin Ingram (hamstring) is also questionable . . . The Saints listed running back Alvin Kamara as questionable for Sunday’s game in Jacksonville because of an ankle injury that limited his practice time on Thursday and sidelined him entirely from practice on Friday . . . As expected, Case Keenum is the Redskins starting quarterback for Sunday’s tilt versus the Miami Dolphins. Interim coach Bill Callahan announced that Keenum would return to the lineup. Callahan also noted that rookie Dwayne Haskins would be the backup, not Colt McCoy, who started in a 33-7 loss to the Patriots last weekend . . . The Eagles will be missing several key players when they visit Minnesota, including wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), cornerbacks Ronald Darby (hamstring) and Avonte Maddox (neck), and running back Darren Sproles (calf).