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With Dwayne Haskins not getting first-team reps in the preseason, it seems like a trial run

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

For some reason, Mike Tomlin decided to start Mason Rudolph instead of Dwayne Haskins against the Eagles on Thursday night. I thought this would have been a great opportunity for Haskins to get reps with the first team.

Instead, he played against the Eagles' second- and third-team. And while he performed well, completing 16 of 22 passes (72.7%) for 161 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, along with a quarterback rating of 108.3, it's hard to truly evaluate him because he's going up against backups.

Perhaps Tomlin doesn't want Haskins to lose confidence if he performs poorly, but I just can't see Haskins surpassing Rudolph on the depth chart without any first-team reps in the preseason. Tomlin also already declared that Ben Roethlisberger will start against the Lions on Saturday night.

It appears that the Steelers are just settling with Haskins as their No. 3 quarterback. If it was a true quarterback competition for the No. 2 spot, then Haskins would have got first-team reps against the Eagles.

In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't really matter who the No. 2 and No. 3 quarterback is, as if Roethlisberger suffers a season-ending injury or is out for a considerable amount of time, they're in trouble.

Maybe the Steelers just wanted to see what they have in Haskins, and then next year in 2022, that's when it really will become a true competition between Rudolph and Haskins for the starting quarterback spot, given if Roethlisberger hangs it up after this year. It just seems like this year is a trial run with Haskins. It's in 2022 when we'll see if Haskins is the quarterback of the future for the Steelers.

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