Rashard Mendenhall not ruling himself out for Week One

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When Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL in the season finale, it created some doubt about whether he’d be able to get back on the field in time to help the team during the 2012 season.

Mendenhall still isn’t sure when he’ll be back, but he’s adamant that he won’t miss the entire season. Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the team is prepared for the possibility that he will have to start the year on the PUP list, but Mendenhall isn’t willing to give up hope that he’ll be on the field for the Sunday night game against the Broncos on September 9th.

“There’s always the possibility,” Mendenhall said. “I’ll be back at some point. It’s just a matter of what point that is.”

Mendenhall said that he has been running and cutting, but that he also still has soreness and swelling in the knee. That makes it difficult to predict what kind of shape Mendenhall will be in when September rolls around. The fact that he’s entering the final year of his contract makes it more likely that Mendenhall will make sure he’s fully ready to play before pushing himself too far too fast.

Isaac Redman will likely take Mendenhall’s place in the starting lineup with Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch and rookie Chris Rainey also in the backfield mix.

11 responses to “Rashard Mendenhall not ruling himself out for Week One

  1. I’ll take Redman/Dwyer/Batch any day of the week. All these guys play with the fire we haven’t seen at RB the last couple years.

  2. This opens the door for Dwyer, who has great talent and can make a real name for himself if he keeps his head on straight. If you’re into FFL, and looking for a sleeper… here it is.

  3. I agree with pooflinger that Dwyer’s the one to watch as a real replacement for Mendenhall. But as an SEC fan, I’ve had the opportunity to see Rainey in action, and he brings a lot to the mix. Redman is great, too. It’s better to have a team of RBs anyway. But Mendenhall has given us a lot of good play, and I hope he can return to full strength in time.

  4. My advice to him is not to rush back too soon from injury.

    Look at what happened to Terry Bradshaw. He did and he quickly got hurt again and had to retire.

    Don’t let the team pressure you to return too soon. They don’t really care if it results in your career ending. They are willing to risk it, just like they did with Bradshaw so you need to watch your own back. Don’t expect the team to do it.

  5. “The fact that he’s entering the final year of his contract makes it more likely that Mendenhall will make sure he’s fully ready to play before pushing himself too far too fast.”
    Why would Mendenhall take it easy… if he doesn’t play, he’s not going to get paid much at all. He better at least play in a few games this season and show he still has it, otherwise the team won’t have room for him.

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