Steelers not counting on Mendenhall to return for start of season

AP

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL on January 1, and that means the team isn’t counting on its leading rusher to return for the start of the 2012 season.

Pittsburgh G.M. Kevin Colbert said today that there’s a good chance Mendenhall won’t be ready for the start of the season and will open 2012 on the Physically Unable Perform list, Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette similarly quotes Colbert as being pessimistic, saying the Steelers are not counting on Mendenhall in 2012. Colbert said he doesn’t feel good about a player coming back from a torn ACL for a full year.

Patriots receiver Wes Welker tore his ACL in the last game of the 2009 regular season and returned for the first game of the 2010 regular season, and following Welker’s lead is the best-case scenario for Mendenhall. But it sounds like the Steelers expect to open the regular season without Mendenhall in the backfield.

15 responses to “Steelers not counting on Mendenhall to return for start of season

  1. This is the last year of his contract. His base is $650,000. 00 and he’s due a 1.3 mil bonus for a total of a 2 mil cap hit. Pretty easy to part ways. The Bucs would love to have a healthy guy like that.

    Go Bucs!

  2. Wouldn’t this be news if the steelers WERE expecting him to be 100% at the start of the season?

    As for your reference of welker he himself said he didn’t feel 100% during that preseason.

  3. It might be time to part ways with Mendy. But what kind of salary hit would it be is the main question?

    Unfortunately … Mendy is injury-prone and has fumble problems that happen at peak moments of a season.

    I suggested before that the team should have brought Tiki Barber in to at least be a mentor for Mendenhall. Not necessarily as a player, but because TB overcame fumble issues in his career.

  4. They should get a speed back in the draft or in free agency to compliment Redman or Dwyer. Redman isn’t a bad back, just doesn’t offer much other than tough between the tackles running.

    Someone like Joseph Addai or Justin Forsett might be a cheap compliment. They can each do well in the passing game and have shown flashes of being good players.

  5. Not a huge loss. Mendy is a good back, don’t get me wrong, but he definitely lost something this year.

    He just didn’t have that find-the-hole-explode-through-the-hole burst that he had in 2010. It’s unfortunate at his young age, but I think he’s tapering into more of a role back instead of an all-down back. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Redman, Clay and Dwyer suit Haley’s offense better anyways.

  6. This is no surprise, and it was horrible timing for Rashard to suffer that injury going into the last year of his contract. His production was off this season, and Haley might have made better use of a healthy Mendenhall. This is not the era of cornerstone franchise running backs; he can be replaced. Don’t know how the Steelers will choose to handle this, but I’d be surprised if he were with us long-term.

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