Don't assume quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will ultimately be unable to make it onto that moving train to Los Angeles just yet.
"He's preparing like he's going to be there and be ready to go," offensive coordinator Matt Canada said today.
Roethlisberger is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, along with free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
To be eligible to play on Sunday night against the Chargers, Roethlisberger must be asymptomatic for 48 hours and register two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday the Steelers would "build our plan around getting Mason (Rudolph) ready to play.
"If we get to a point in the week where Ben has an opportunity to get on a moving train that's exactly what he'll do," Tomlin added.
Roethlisberger is doing what's necessary to come aboard.
"I've talked to him every day, talked about the plans, what we're thinking," Canada said. "Obviously, he's also met with 'Sully' (quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan) every day and going through the very, very specifics of those things.
"It's almost exactly like last year, all Zoom meetings. We've all gotten practice at that. (Roethlisberger) is very much engaged, watching practice, knowing what's going on. So yeah, every day we've talked. It just hasn't been in person."
Rudolph went 30-for-50 passing, for 242 yards, with one touchdown and one interception in last Sunday's 16-16 tie with the Lions.
It was Rudolph's 10th career start with the Steelers.
"I think Mason did a nice job continuing to keep fighting and going in the game and leading on the sideline," Canada said. "We didn't get the result we wanted and we're all disappointed about that. But I think Mason continues to grow and work at his game and his craft and I've enjoyed watching him do that."
"'Sully' has done a great job coming in and certainly has more day-to-day meeting time with him now. And his expertise and experience has also enhanced Mason."
Other subjects addressed by Canada today included:
Whether the 15 seconds left on the clock prior to the second-to-last play of overtime in the Detroit game would have been enough time to get to the line, spike the ball and then attempt a field goal had tight end Pat Freiermuth not fumbled: "We called a play to the sideline to get out of bounds. We were at 15. With the fumble and as it went, we'd have been close there.
The Steelers prepare for the Week 11 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers
"Obviously, we're trying to get out of bounds. That 15 is right in that area. A lot of it depends on the mechanics. Obviously, you look back to a few games prior we had when the ball gets in there quickly. We're obviously going to run the ball into the middle, give it to the referee and get it spiked. You're right there on the edge of that."
The third-quarter series that included three straight passes beginning with a first-and-goal from the Lions' 5-yard line: "The first play was an RPO (run-pass option) and we didn't get the result we wanted. The second play didn't get the result and the third play didn't get the result. We had another first-and-goal on the other end (first-and-goal from the 7 in the second quarter) that we ended up kicking a field goal on.
"First-and-goal, we gotta score touchdowns. I'm never going to get into a specific play, what happened, who's right. It's all on me. We didn't get it in the end zone. Inside this building we will talk and we critique and certainly everybody knows what needs to happen. We didn't score touchdowns and we have to score touchdowns. I take that on me."
The disparity between 50 passing attempts and 31 rushes in the Lions game: "We obviously ran the ball. We had a 100-yard rusher (running back Najee Harris, 105 yards on 26 carries) but we didn't do anything well enough to win the game. And I've not changed my stance, that's all that matters, winning the game. More or Less? The overtime skewed the balance quite a bit. We ran some RPOs, which in a sense are runs. We're run-blocking and doing some things like that."