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Tomlin says Mendenhall could have torn ACL

St. Louis Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Steelers won their game on Sunday in Cleveland, but they lost their shot at the bye week that would have accompanied the AFC North title.

They also may have lost their starting running back for the bulk of the offseason, if not longer.

Coach Mike Tomlin told reporters after the game that running back Rashard Mendenhall could have a torn ACL, and that Mendenhall is not expected to play next weekend in Denver.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that an MRI will be performed tomorrow.  (As if that needed a source.)

Mendenhall would be the second big-name running back to suffer a torn ACL in consecutive weeks.  Eight days ago, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered the same injury.

Isaac Redman replaced Mendenhall on Sunday, rushing for 92 yards on 19 carries.  Redman is expected to get the start against Denver; it’s unknown whether the Steelers will add any running backs to the roster for the playoff run.  Currently, the other options are Mewelde Moore and John Clay.  Chad Spann is on the practice squad.

For Mendenhall, the timing of the injury raises questions regarding whether the team will want to keep him in 2012.  He finished the 2011 season with fewer than 1,000 rushing yards for the first time since his rookie season, and he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract, at a base salary of $650,000.

Mendenhall created a stir during the lockout, however, with his comments on Twitter following the killing of Osama bin Laden.  The Steelers could decide that it’s simply time to move on, possibly by drafting a new running back in one of the middle rounds.

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52 Responses to “Tomlin says Mendenhall could have torn ACL”
  1. johnshawisgay says: Jan 1, 2012 8:18 PM

    Ouch, that is a bummer. I hate the Steelers butt I also hate to see this happen…

  2. kfiz14 says: Jan 1, 2012 8:23 PM

    Glad something good came out of this game.

  3. steelersownyou says: Jan 1, 2012 8:27 PM

    Redman is a good rb. We’ll be fine. It is ben who leads this team anyways. We go as far as ben & our #2 defense can carry us!

  4. folkcrusader says: Jan 1, 2012 8:28 PM

    Bummer for Mendenhall, hate him because he’s a Steeler but feel for him losing the season this way.

  5. textexington says: Jan 1, 2012 8:30 PM

    Packers>Steelers

  6. marcinhouston says: Jan 1, 2012 8:35 PM

    I don’t think it is right that people who don’t even know Isaac Redman are judging that he is not as good as Mendenhall.

  7. audient says: Jan 1, 2012 8:38 PM

    Too bad it wasn’t James Harrison.

  8. dickroy says: Jan 1, 2012 8:39 PM

    We should be okay with Redman, if he finishes his run with the football in his hands.

  9. vicktator says: Jan 1, 2012 8:39 PM

    I just don’t see the Steelers going far, too many injuries to overcome.

  10. timtheenchanter1 says: Jan 1, 2012 8:42 PM

    Damn tough break for the kid. However, Redman has looked like the better runner this year anyway.

  11. dirtdawg55 says: Jan 1, 2012 8:49 PM

    Steelers are fine at RB for 2012 what with Redman, Dwyer, Clay and Moore on the roster. I can’t see the Steelers holding on to Mendenhall past next season.

    As for the playoffs, this isn’t much of a loss, but the Steelers are too beat up to win it all. They should easily beat Denver, but it will be tough after that. Even with a mobile Big Ben they were anemic on offense (the myth of the, being a good offense is based on the big yardage numbers they put up but their red zone offense is brutal.

  12. indywilson40 says: Jan 1, 2012 8:51 PM

    Tough break for the Steelers, but Amos Zereoue is a capable backup.

  13. stairwayto7 says: Jan 1, 2012 8:53 PM

    Ben throws for 300 2tds and redman and clay get about 130 and a td and a win vs tebow!

  14. steelergold says: Jan 1, 2012 8:54 PM

    They said they would run him until the wheels fell off. Sadly it looks like they have.

  15. ravenator says: Jan 1, 2012 9:04 PM

    Doesn’t matter, they were already swept by the Ravens.

  16. steelerstrut says: Jan 1, 2012 9:05 PM

    Redman is the better running back anyway, so it does not hurt the Steelers one bit. As long as he got those fumbles out of his game tonight.

  17. 8man says: Jan 1, 2012 9:08 PM

    Someone please help. Correct me if I’m wrong but if the Steelers win next week as the #5 seed and the Texans win next week as the #3 seed, don’t the Steelers go to New England despite their better record?

    Because it seems to me that we are likely looking going to see Steelers at Patriots two weeks from now.

    Which means that despite having the number 1 seed, the Patriots could possibly have to play both the Steelers and the Ravens.

  18. phathead7 says: Jan 1, 2012 9:26 PM

    where is johnathan dwyer?why isnt he getting any playing time?

  19. Deb says: Jan 1, 2012 9:27 PM

    Hate this for Mendenhall, especially in the last year of his rookie contract. It’s tough out there these days for running backs. Hope he has a quick recovery. I’m concerned about losing him, but we’re lucky to have some depth at that position. Unfortunately, we have bigger worries going into the playoffs.

  20. paulieorkid says: Jan 1, 2012 9:30 PM

    8man,

    Assuming the Steelers win in the wild card round of the playoffs versus Denver (which you are presenting as a given), the only way the Patriots do not face the Steelers in the Divisional Round is if Cincy also beats Houston.

    FWIW, Cincy very well might beat Houston – given the devastating injuries that have ravaged the Texans at key positions. Very possible.

  21. halusbr33 says: Jan 1, 2012 9:33 PM

    @ dirtdawgg55

    Jonathan Dwyer was put on IR the week John Clay was activated. Not sure what the injury was.

  22. jessethegreat says: Jan 1, 2012 9:33 PM

    Looks like Mendy won’t be fumbling away the Lombardi again in the Super Bowl this year.

    Truth be told, the Steelers are probably better off without him. They won’t count on him now, so he can’t give the ball away in a critical situation. Redman and Moore are more sure handed but less likely to break tackles.

  23. southpaw2k says: Jan 1, 2012 9:38 PM

    8man.

    You are completely correct. If both the Steelers and Texans win this weekend (and I expect both teams to do so), Pittsburgh would go to NE and Houston would travel to Baltimore for the second round. The NFL doesn’t reseed playoff teams based on records or anything like that, so that’s exactly how the match ups would work. And based on those projections, I still see a Steelers/Ravens match up in the AFC Championship Game.

  24. stairwayto7 says: Jan 1, 2012 9:38 PM

    where is johnathan dwyer?why isnt he getting any playing time?

    He is on IR! That is why Clay has played last 2 weeks.

  25. beauregard says: Jan 1, 2012 9:39 PM

    Fortunately the Steelers get the Broncos in the first round which may well amount to a bye week for them anyways.

  26. blitzburgh43 says: Jan 1, 2012 9:41 PM

    phathead7 says:Jan 1, 2012 9:26 PM

    where is johnathan dwyer?why isnt he getting any playing time?
    ——–

    Dwyer is on IR

  27. paulieorkid says: Jan 1, 2012 9:45 PM

    Very nice to see you back Deb and hope your New Year is treating you right so far — and yes, I agree. We do have some real concerns heading into the postseason. Some of them struck me as avoidable, but at least we have a tough hardened team with difference-makers in all 3 phases of the game.

  28. nesuperfan says: Jan 1, 2012 9:55 PM

    8man says:Jan 1, 2012 9:08 PM

    Someone please help. Correct me if I’m wrong but if the Steelers win next week as the #5 seed and the Texans win next week as the #3 seed, don’t the Steelers go to New England despite their better record?
    __________________________________

    I believe that is correct 8man, however, the Texans are hardly a guarantee to beat the Bengals they way they have been playing lately.

    Consecutive losses to Carolina (6-10), Indy (2-14), and Tennessee (9-7). Only four weeks ago, they beat the same Bengals by one point, 20-19. They have also not looked good for weeks before that even.

  29. nogoodell says: Jan 1, 2012 10:07 PM

    Pittsburgh is just not a very good team

  30. Deb says: Jan 1, 2012 10:11 PM

    @paulieorkid …

    Thanks! Hope you had a nice holiday as well! Yes, I think some of our worries were avoidable. But now we just move forward. Had forgotten about Ryan Clark’s health issues in Denver, so we’ll have to count him out for that game. I hope the Steelers aren’t taking the Broncos for granted the way some fans are. Nothing is a given at this stage. I’m sure the Saints thought the Seahawks were their bye last year and we saw how that turned out.

  31. ppdoc13 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:31 PM

    Boy that really breaks my heart. FYI – Rashard Mendenhall was drafted in the first round the same year the Ravens took Ray Rice in the second round. Who do you think got the better end of the deal?

  32. Bubby Brister says: Jan 1, 2012 10:32 PM

    “Truth be told, the Steelers are probably better off without him. They won’t count on him now, so he can’t give the ball away in a critical situation. Redman and Moore are more sure handed but less likely to break tackles.”

    Mendenhall has fumbled 3 times in the past two years. Redman fumbled twice in the game today alone.

    I understand how crucial his fumble in the SB was last year but the fact that people act like he has some sort of fumbling problem is ridiculous.

    I hope Steelers fans are happy. They are enamored with their powerbacks and after harping all year about how Redman deserves to be the starter, they finally have it. It reminds me a lot of 2007 when they did the same thing with Willie Parker vs. Najeh Davenport. Parker broke his leg, Davenport was the starter for the playoffs and Davenport being exposed as merely a situational runner was a big part of the reason the Steelers were one and done that postseason.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  33. 187onsandusky says: Jan 1, 2012 10:42 PM

    They have Baron Batch on injured reserve also. He could be a player in the mix next year.

  34. fanofbrowns17 says: Jan 1, 2012 11:05 PM

    Glad my Browns will have a hand in your ouster from playoffs. Mamed qb, rb done for year, among other bumps and bruises. See you next year, frontrunner nation. Use those towels to dry your eyes after being eliminated. Hahaha

  35. jaxuar says: Jan 1, 2012 11:12 PM

    Dookie!!!!

  36. eleventyeight says: Jan 1, 2012 11:32 PM

    For the Steelers there is no next year yet just next week and, hopefully, the next and the next. One each in it’s own time. The Mighty Football Gods will favor the strongest hearts and sharpest minds.

    Pray they be ours.

  37. johnshawisgay says: Jan 2, 2012 12:03 AM

    By the way, which is closer to Perv State, Pittsburgh or Philly???

    It’ll be fun to watch Tebow take apart the Steelers next week…

  38. larrydavid815 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:17 AM

    Should have happened to Chris Johnson instead. The guy is a fraud.

    Sorry AP, Mendenhall. Good Efforts!

  39. steelernation1 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:34 AM

    johnshawisgay says:
    Jan 2, 2012 12:03 AM
    By the way, which is closer to Perv State, Pittsburgh or Philly???

    It’ll be fun to watch Tebow take apart the Steelers next week…
    …………………………………………………………………………
    lol you are foolish the number one D in the NFL?really?you may want to rethink your post lol…..

    nogoodell says:
    Jan 1, 2012 10:07 PM
    Pittsburgh is just not a very good team
    ………………………………………………………………………….
    there offense is ranked 12th in the nfl and there D is number one in the nfl..i would have to think you are not much of a gambler are you.cause i would be willing to bet you would lose a lot of money in Vegas if you bet against the steelers D

  40. steelernation1 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:46 AM

    fanofbrowns17 says:
    Jan 1, 2012 11:05 PM
    Glad my Browns will have a hand in your ouster from playoffs. Mamed qb, rb done for year, among other bumps and bruises. See you next year, frontrunner nation. Use those towels to dry your eyes after being eliminated. Hahaha
    …………………………………………………………………………….
    really what right do you have on these threads.till you get that poo stain off your nose since the browns just added another loss to there record since coming back to the nfl..the browns are and always will be a joke.like the pirates are too pittsburgh and the indians are to cleveland

  41. marshmont says: Jan 2, 2012 12:48 AM

    after mendenhallz anti-american comments, i’m glad. he is a mental midget. my curses do work.

  42. eleventyeight says: Jan 2, 2012 12:58 AM

    johnshawisgay says: Jan 2, 2012 12:03 AM

    By the way, which is closer to Perv State, Pittsburgh or Philly???
    ———————————-

    Why? Looking for a good time, there, sailor?

    There’s a guy named Jerry might accommodate you.

    He lives in a place called “Happy Valley”.

    And I hear Philly is called the city of “Brotherly Love”, so you guys should fit right in…

  43. sdswagg says: Jan 2, 2012 1:06 AM

    just had my ACL reconstruction surgery 2 weeks ago… not as bad as they make it out to be. good luck

  44. bleed4philly says: Jan 2, 2012 1:56 AM

    The Stoolers are still going to the Superbowl, unfortunately.

  45. bensstinkyfingers says: Jan 2, 2012 2:28 AM

    Franco Harris just tweeted he would suit up for the Steelers if they would pay him in footlong meatball marinara subs. It really doesn’t matter the Steelers postseason is over before it even begins. Great storyline though Good (Tebow) vs Evil (Ruthlessburger) Good Wins every time! Stairway to 7 just got longer.

  46. dachozen1 says: Jan 2, 2012 2:57 AM

    My faith in humanity for the game of football has been restored slightly. Congrats to the people who got it right on this subject and for those who didnt need a look in the mirror. I dont care if it is my team or not, I would never wish injury to someone playing the game. Anyone wishing injury on a player is a complete idiot.

  47. donterrelli says: Jan 2, 2012 8:28 AM

    What happened to Jonathan Dwyer? He was after Moore and Redman on the depth chart earlier in the season.

  48. denverdude7 says: Jan 2, 2012 8:58 AM

    beauregard says:Jan 1, 2012 9:39 PM

    Fortunately the Steelers get the Broncos in the first round which may well amount to a bye week for them anyways.
    ##################################

    Here’s to hoping you get to eat your words.

    Upset Special:
    Denver 10
    Pittsburgh 9 FINAL

  49. busteeler says: Jan 2, 2012 10:33 AM

    Steelers playing Denver is as good as bye week, Tebow doesn’t have a chance against the Steelers D. Timmy Tebow mania is over. Tebow is not a good nfl quarterback. Looking forward to the blow out next Sunday, and hopefully a rematch with the Patriots. Steeler nation rules!!!

  50. Deb says: Jan 2, 2012 11:21 AM

    Love it. I was censored for saying the Tombstone line “Well … bye” to news that Bart Scott may be cut, but the moderators think “Dookie” is an insightful post. Obviously Santa didn’t deliver any brains or discretion while I was away. :roll:

  51. mostlombardisintheleague says: Jan 2, 2012 12:00 PM

    Dwyer and Moore (hamstring) are injured. All we have now are Redman (2nd string) and Clay (3rd string). Polamalu played running back in high school, is there anyone on the practice squad, or anyone from Pitt available ? Redman is a battering ram but without the speed of Mendy and as seen yesterday has the “dropsies”.
    Will be interesting to see how the game plan is adapted to recent changes in starters.

    Does anyone know the status of Woodley and is it possible the Ravens and the Patriots have no major injuries to starters at this juncture ?

    Here we go …..!!!

  52. saavon says: Jan 3, 2012 11:52 AM

    hi i like reading this im new can i have a ultimate smiley for everybodyedits

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