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.