Medical cart controversy emerges after QB Mason Rudolph gets knocked out

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are now looking to a man nicknamed Duck to help lead their team out of the dismal black hole that has become the 2019 season. Second string QB Mason Rudolph was knocked out during Sunday's game against the Ravens.

As Rudolph fell to the ground after getting hit in the chin by the helmet of safety Earl Thomas, his head hit the turf. Medical staff, coaches and teammates rushed to render aid to the delirious quarterback and eventually helped him walk off the field when he regained consciousness.

But why wasn't he carted off?

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A spokesperson for the team said:

"The Pittsburgh Steelers medical staff performed a thorough evaluation of Mason Rudolph on the field during Sunday's game. After the evaluation, Mason indicated that he wished to walk off the field and the medical staff assisted him in walking off the field and to the locker room for further evaluation. He is in the concussion protocol and will be evaluated under the protocol as required.
With regard to the medical cart, in the event that a player's condition requires him to be carted off the field, there is always more than one cart on the field in the event a cart malfunctions."

>RELATED: Rudolph exits after scary hit, Ravens edge Steelers in OT<

A member of the NFL Players Association blasted the league after the cart appeared to not be working.

The New York Post said a cart and stretcher were brought onto the field, pushed by a group of people.

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According to Ian Rapoport, National Insider for the NFL, the league released a statement in response to the injured Rudolph being helped off the field on his legs, saying medical staff decided a cart was actually not needed.

Team officials confirmed Rudolph suffered a concussion and was taken to an area hospital for further treatment before he was able to go home.

Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the cart issue following the game Sunday. His answer? That's not his department.

"Ask somebody who's in charge of that. I don't drive carts and things of that nature," he said at his postgame press conference.

Following those scary moments on the field, it's not clear at this point where Rudolph is in terms of the concussion protocol or his overall health.

Watch the video above for more from head coach Mike Tomlin about QB Devlin Hodges' performance in the final quarter and a half on Sunday.