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Rashard Mendenhall steps closer to playing

Rashard Mendenhall AP

No one gave Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall much chance of making it back from a torn ACL in time to play in the Steelers’ season opener, but he took a big step toward doing just that on Wednesday.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Mendenhall, who got rave reviews from the Steelers after Monday’s practice, went through a full practice with the team again on Wednesday. That includes 11-on-11 drills, practice time that is usually reserved for players that are expected to play a role in that week’s game. Per Bouchette, Mendenhall wore no brace or band on his knee as he went through the session.

Getting back on the field after having surgery to repair his injury in January would be awully fast, but Mendenhall has been taking steps faster than anticipated all throughout the offseason. There were fears that he’d miss the entire season then that he would start the year on the PUP list. Even when he was activated from the PUP list, the thought was that Mendenhall would be a bystander for the first few weeks of the season.

Now it looks like Mendenhall’s got a shot at playing against the Broncos. Or at least that the Steelers want the Broncos to think he’s got a shot at playing. We’d say he’s likely to play a supporting role to Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman if he does play, but, at this point, it’s probably best to just wait and see what Mendenhall can do next.

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54 Responses to “Rashard Mendenhall steps closer to playing”
  1. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 5:29 PM

    Big deal. The offense will still be terrible.

  2. blackngold4life says: Sep 5, 2012 5:30 PM

    I’m glad he’s making a recovery..faster then expected.

  3. hockeyfootball98 says: Sep 5, 2012 5:34 PM

    So do i play this guy sunday or not?

  4. egroj3002 says: Sep 5, 2012 5:35 PM

    first play on Steelers offense…deeeeep pass to mr Wallace!!!

  5. charlies1batch says: Sep 5, 2012 5:35 PM

    I’m afraid if he rushes back he will get hurt again. Let Redman and Dwyer carry the load for the 1st few games and ease Rashard back into the mix.

  6. footballfan01 says: Sep 5, 2012 5:38 PM

    yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 5:29 PM

    Big deal. The offense will still be terrible.

    ——————————–

    Your inferiority complex is showing.

  7. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 5:43 PM

    Take position by position and we’re better by far than the ratbirds except running back. Ben over flacco, our linebackers over their linebackers. Our receivers over their receivers. How we ever lose to them goes against all logic! Theyre not good!

  8. ravenatorsconscience says: Sep 5, 2012 5:57 PM

    Omg he’s back?! So soon?!?! But Suggs isnt even back…. This guy truly balls too hard… no way we can stand up against this team now wow.

  9. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 6:01 PM

    steelersownyou: How did you improve? They swept the steelers last year and undoubtedly will do it again this year. Ben is not better than Flacco, I don’t care how many rings he was given. Check out the head-to-head QB comparison from last year and let me know what you think. If the jets are smart they will start Tebow week 2 cause he obviously knows how to beat the steelers.

  10. Steeley McBeam says: Sep 5, 2012 6:07 PM

    @steelersownyou

    Even a broke clock is right twice a day, or in this case twice a season. Everything will be right again this year, Steelers getting healthy and looking good at just the right time.

    Besides they’ve got everything invested in Ray Rice. We have 4 RBs plus Rainey who can carry us through a game or even a season. And thats not even counting our two Pro Bowl WR.

  11. Steeley McBeam says: Sep 5, 2012 6:10 PM

    yinzgotsix says: Ben is not better than Flacco, I don’t care how many rings he was given.

    HAHAHA pardon me I had to laugh at that. Also, did a Ravens fan really make a screenname of ‘yingzgotsix’? Its cool man you can hop on board now the season hasnt started yet. But come Sunday you gotta stick with your team come hell or high water like we did last year. Just remember that.

  12. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 5, 2012 6:11 PM

    Injured or healthy, Mendenhall isn’t expected to be re-sign next season. A great physical talent that can’t stay healthy… Jonathan Dwyer and Ike Redman appear to be poised to carry the load.

    steelersownyou: There’s nothing logical about football; that’s what makes it the world’s greatest sport. However, having an offense that turns the ball over seven times can pretty much end any hopes for victory, especially against a team like the Ravens.
    Three interceptions and four lost fumbles. It was another stellar performance by Blameless Ben.

  13. mydadyourmom says: Sep 5, 2012 6:18 PM

    Hahaa Flacco better than Ben? That’s rich buds.

  14. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 6:18 PM

    Child please…flacco couldnt even start at univ of pitt and had to transfer to delaware! Friggen delaware! Ben 3 super bowl appearances 2 lombardis. Flacco = 0

  15. itsmammoth says: Sep 5, 2012 6:31 PM

    Fantasy draft day steal?

  16. sweepthleg says: Sep 5, 2012 6:39 PM

    He was awful last season before the injury. I don’t see how rushing back will make him better?

  17. ianwetpantscom says: Sep 5, 2012 6:49 PM

    Its’ great to have Mendenhall back in the fold, we need him, just wish he didn’t fumble as much, we haven’t be very good in the red zone running the rock, maybe Todd Haley can change that?

  18. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 7:03 PM

    @bobzilla…if the defense you hold in such high regard would ever get a turnover and not be the worst in nfl takeaways maybe the offense would score more.. But no ben has to start from his own 20 all the time and march 80 yards. Learn something about the game before you blab yinzer! You know absolutely nothing!

  19. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 7:18 PM

    Steely McBeam: That wagon is full of inbreds, ignoramuses, fair weather and wannabe fans that just enjoy saying “yinzgotsix”. A couple more seasons like last and there will be plenty of space. If you haven’t figured out by now the screenname is mocking every retarded steeler fan that has no argument other than yinz got six. Will any of you that disagree about the QB’s explain how Ben is so superior without bringing up those garbage rings.

  20. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 7:27 PM

    steelersownyou has a ridiculous mancrush on Ben. I bet you wish he would take advantage of you in a bathroom.

  21. cbadjon says: Sep 5, 2012 7:34 PM

    Yinzgotsix:

    Outside of the rings…here is why Ben is better…

    2008-Present

    Flacco
    60.8%, 13816yds, 80TD, 46INT, 7.1YPA, 86.0 Rating, 6 Comeback Wins

    Ben
    62.85%, 14906yds, 81TD, 46INT, 8.1YPA, 91.93 Rating, 11 Comeback Wins

    WOW, not too hard to see now is it? Don’t go around throwing out statements that can be easily defeated by just looking at the comparison for two seconds!

  22. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 7:36 PM

    Ok here goes.. Ben He has more yards passing than flacco, more reg season wins then flacco, more playoff wins then flacco. Better completion % then flacco. Better Qb rating then flacco. More td passes then flacco. Is more mobile than flacco. And lastly has won crucial games in the playoffs unlike flacco. Did I leave anything out? OH YAAA WE GOT 6 SUPER BOWL WINS WHILE THE RATBIRDS STARVE!

  23. randallflagg52 says: Sep 5, 2012 7:46 PM

    Steeley McBeam says:
    Sep 5, 2012 6:07 PM
    @steelersownyou

    Even a broke clock is right twice a day, or in this case twice a season. Everything will be right again this year, Steelers getting healthy and looking good at just the right time.

    Besides they’ve got everything invested in Ray Rice. We have 4 RBs plus Rainey who can carry us through a game or even a season. And thats not even counting our two Pro Bowl WR.

    =================================

    You only have one pro bowl WR. Brown made the pro bowl as a return man, not as a WR. Brown has 2 career TDs. He is simply not a pro bowl calibre WR.

    You don’t see bears fans claiming Hester is a pro bowl WR do you? So why would you claim Brown is a pro bowl WR?

  24. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 7:54 PM

    Of course I think hes awesome. Plus hes a 1st ballot hall of famer! Hes tougest Qb in the nfl. And I think he should put his 2 super bowl rings on and use yinzgotsix and joe flacco like talking puppets though their backdoor!

  25. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 7:59 PM

    I thought stats never told the whole story. These 2 QB’s are very similar statistically. My question was how is Ben SUPERIOR? Yinz idiots act like Flacco isn’t on Ben’s level but he absolutely is. If you guys are in the mood to talk about stats we could pull up Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Mannings etc. since 2008. They are ELITE, Ben and Flacco are just looking up at them.

  26. randallflagg52 says: Sep 5, 2012 8:05 PM

    @cbadjon

    Considering Joe Flacco was a rookie in 2008, and Ben was already a 4 year veteran those numbers are very impressive for Flacco. To me those numbers just indicate that Ben has peaked and Flacco has a much higher upside than Roethlisberger ever had.

  27. cbadjon says: Sep 5, 2012 8:08 PM

    FIRST, besides TD’s and INT’s they are not statistically similar!

    Second, no one said anything about Ben being on the level of Rodgers or Brady or Brees or Manning. Ben is in the second tier behind them and Flacco in the third!

    To even consider Flacco at Ben’s level at this point in his career is ridiculous. Flacco still has the fear of a new puppy in his eyes.

  28. db3300 says: Sep 5, 2012 8:09 PM

    Probably needs to take a lot more steps before playing because he looks pretty doughy in that pic.

  29. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 8:16 PM

    Please don’t put flacco & ben in the same sentence. Flacco is a Qb that is ranked in middle pf the pack. Ben is elite. What ben has done playing behind the worst offensive lines in the history of the game is nothing short of amazing. If he had offensive lines like brees, brady, manning has had he would have top notch stats like that. Plus he doesnt throw near as many passes in a season as them guys so he will never have stats like them. Ben will win 2 more sb’s. Book it!

  30. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 8:17 PM

    cbadjon: You’re telling me stats determine how good a QB is. When I compare Ben to QB’s with elite numbers, all I hear is how bad the O-line is or Ben doesn’t have the weapons these guys have and you can’t look at stats. Which is it? Why are the so called “experts” predicting Flacco will have a better year than Ben? If Bens sooo much better than him, how could anyone think this?

  31. cbadjon says: Sep 5, 2012 8:30 PM

    I didn’t say in anything that I wrote that Ben would be elite if it were for a better O-Line etc. Why the “experts” think that is beyond me, because up to this point, nothing has shown that to anyone.

  32. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 8:32 PM

    I dont know who predicting a big year from flacco? If half his passes are checkdowns to rice like every year I cant imagine a big year. You got 1 good receiver and mediocre tight ends. No way that happens. Ben got a lot of weapons. Wait til you ravens fans see chris rainey.. Be afraid..Be very afraid. To tell you the truth im more nervous about the bengals this year than I am the ratbirds!

  33. yinzgotsix says: Sep 5, 2012 8:33 PM

    If Ben would throw as many passes as them QB’s he would have 30+ INT’s. Sorry you are blind to it but he is not even close to their skill level, even with a good O-line. Do you realize Flacco’s red zone numbers the last 2 seasons? 25 TD 0 INT’s. Pretty impressive, huh? He is as good if not better than Ben.

  34. brianinnj24 says: Sep 5, 2012 8:47 PM

    Hey Yinzgotsix let me know which one of your elite QBs could win two super bowls behind the o-line Ben had to use. I doubt Brady or Rodgers or Brees could survive 3 weeks with o-line while Ben still puts up 4000 plus yard seasons.

    We will see how you elite QB flacco will handle an aging subpat o-line this season.

  35. steelersownyou says: Sep 5, 2012 8:55 PM

    Haha you keep thinking that. Whatever makes you feel better. We all know the truth though. Ben is a 1st ballot hall of famer & flacco is a mediocre Qb who will never win a super bowl. Embrace it cause its real dude!

  36. brianinnj24 says: Sep 5, 2012 9:00 PM

    Hey Yinz if Flacco was elite or better than Ben why hasnt your guru GM signed him? Nope the paid Rice. If Flacco was such a rising star QB why havent they gotten a deal done.

  37. willcool21 says: Sep 5, 2012 9:36 PM

    Dwyer is a better back

  38. randallflagg52 says: Sep 5, 2012 9:53 PM

    steelersownyou has got to be the most ignorant homer in the history of sports. If you actually think Ben Roethlisberger is elite you need your head examined. Guy has never put up elite number, and doesn’t have the grasp of football like guys like Brees, either Manning, Brady and Rodgers.

    Flacco will have the better career when all is said and done, he is already just as good of a player right now in his 5th year and is still getting better. It’s all downhill for Ben since he’s been in the league for 4 years longer and has already peaked.

    Also the most INTs Flacco has thrown in a year is 12. Ben has led the league in turnovers before. Nuff said. Elite QBs don’t lead the NFL in turnovers.

  39. sixlombardisinyourface says: Sep 5, 2012 10:43 PM

    to all the knuckle draggers in the purple armpit of America, what is the mission or goal of every team each season ? is it for their QB to have the highest stats or is it to win the Lombardi Trophy ?

    Ben has been to the Superbowl 3 times in seven years, including a trip to the Superbowl his rookie season where he won 3 road playoff games (how many times has Flacco done that?) . The Texans almost beat you last year in the playoffs and they had a 3rd string QB.
    Ben has played with countless injuries that would have put Flacco or Brady or Breeze or Rodgers in the hospital (even a broken bloody nose against your pathetic defense couldn’t keep him down. Put that in your stats. Ben is in his prime and has already played in 3 Superbowls. If Flacco is in his prime when is he ever going to play in a Superbowl, the main goal of every NFL team ?

  40. choppinwood says: Sep 6, 2012 1:05 AM

    This debate is ridiculous. Flacco is the best QB in the NFL. He said so himself.

  41. blackngold4life says: Sep 6, 2012 1:09 AM

    The Ratburds Superbowl is beating the Steelers! I will give Joe some credit..two 90 yard drives to beat Pitt in the last 2 seasons..but if you ask any non Steeler or Ratburd fans to pick between the 2 to run their team, who you think they’ll pick?

  42. florio4prez says: Sep 6, 2012 2:44 AM

    Big Ben has won two Super Bowls and will likely win at least one more.

    Flacco has won no Super Bowls and will likely never win one. Now if his WR could have held onto an AFCCG-winning TD pass in the final seconds, he might have won one last year.

    But I thought the article was about Mendy.

  43. randallflagg52 says: Sep 6, 2012 4:35 AM

    sixlombardisinyourface says:
    Sep 5, 2012 10:43 PM
    to all the knuckle draggers in the purple armpit of America, what is the mission or goal of every team each season ? is it for their QB to have the highest stats or is it to win the Lombardi Trophy ?

    Ben has been to the Superbowl 3 times in seven years, including a trip to the Superbowl his rookie season where he won 3 road playoff games (how many times has Flacco done that?) . The Texans almost beat you last year in the playoffs and they had a 3rd string QB.
    Ben has played with countless injuries that would have put Flacco or Brady or Breeze or Rodgers in the hospital (even a broken bloody nose against your pathetic defense couldn’t keep him down. Put that in your stats. Ben is in his prime and has already played in 3 Superbowls. If Flacco is in his prime when is he ever going to play in a Superbowl, the main goal of every NFL team ?

    ===================================

    1. Maryland is the armpit of America? That’s a good one. I for one would rather be dead in such a rich cultured, fun, and beautiful state than alive in such a wasteland full of hill billies like you’ll find in Western PA.

    2. Ben never made a SB his rookie year. You call yourself a steeler fan and you can’t even get the facts about your own team right. Pathetic…

    3. The Texans almost beat us? And you ALMOST beat the broncos. Horseshoes and hand grenades my friend… We still got the win, as did Denver.

    4. Flacco hasn’t missed a start in his career. Maybe your QB should man up and stop limping around like a wounded cow after every hit. Flacco takes shots too, he just doesn’t have to act like he’s hurt all the time like your prima dona QB. Flacco has never missed a start in 4 years of football, can Ben say the same?

  44. holeinone09 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:02 AM

    yinzgotsix says: Ben is not better than Flacco

    * * * * * *

    Well, there goes your credibility and evidence of football knowledge. Laughable.

  45. stoogy says: Sep 6, 2012 12:00 PM

    Well after reading this post I have to say these steelers fan have changed my mind about ben. He is an elite QB and the best that ever played football. Thank you little baby Jesus for giving him us to football. Didn’t Flaco sweep Ben last year? Didn’t he lead a game winng drive and make a clutch throw to end the game with the win? Im very confident Flaco will have a better year then Ben. Get over your man crushes on ben there are ten better QB’s in the league just because he was handed 2 SB wins does not make him elite.

  46. bears615 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:01 PM

    I’d agree that Ben is is better than Flaco but I wouldn’t say he’s elite. I think he falls into the second tier of QBs.

  47. sullijo1 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:26 PM

    I have this dreaded feeling that Todd Haley is going to screw this up miserably….

  48. ravenator says: Sep 6, 2012 1:51 PM

    Wow are Steeler fans ignorant. Swept and Tebow, end of story. Come back to me when your team feels like competing again.

  49. brianinnj24 says: Sep 6, 2012 3:57 PM

    To all that live by the fact that they swept the Steelers last year didn’t they finish with the same record. So they must not be that much better, oh and by the way what did the sweep of Pittsburgh get the Ravens last year. and wasn’t it like the year before when Pitt beat the Ravens three times in a season? Look what living off last season got Eli and the Giants. Last year was last year.

  50. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 6, 2012 4:08 PM

    I can understand all you casual, alcohol-induced, moronic NFL fans not knowing the spelling of Roethlisberger. Even steelersownyou is incapable of spelling his name.
    But the guy in Baltimore is FLACCO, not Flaco.
    C’mon, genuises.

  51. ravenator says: Sep 6, 2012 4:14 PM

    Sweeping the steelers won the AFCN crown and a home field playoff game, moron.

  52. yinzgotsix says: Sep 6, 2012 4:44 PM

    What’s laughable is how steeler fans actually think Ben is capable of leading the steelers to another ring. Pittsburgh had the #1 defense in the league and still couldn’t win the north. I believe that mediocre QB named Flacco swept yinz and the rest of the division to win it. A great QB with the best defense would never let his team get beat in the WC round. I bet it was even harder watching an elite QB with the worst defense in the NFL emberass the broncos the week after. Roethlisberger will go down in history as the only QB to lose to Tim Tebow as a starting QB in a playoff game, that’s quite emberassing. Bens best years are behind him homers, Book it!

  53. yinzgotsix says: Sep 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    brianinnj24: Every elite QB could win a SB in Pittsburgh behind that line. Ben holds the ball too long because he lacks the intelligence to make a quick decision. This makes the O-line look worse than they actually are. Elite QB’s are capable of reading a defense and getting the ball out in a timely manner. Ben doesn’t seem like he possesses this skill. If the steelers had an elite QB along with that defense, they would be unstoppable.

  54. brianinnj24 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:04 PM

    So the Ravens won the AFCN any trophies or acclaim for that? Home field advantage didn’t seem to guarantee a SB appearance. Also after they beat the Steelers last year how come Flacco didn’t throw for over 200 yards for like 3 weeks, and his next big game was against the Rams.

    If Ben isn’t capable and only wins because of the defense why does he lead the league as far as active QBs in 4th quarter comeback wins. Ben definitely holds the ball too long, but Brady and glass neck Manning wouldn’t last a season behind that o-line.

    I don’t care if you call Ben elite or not but he fits the Steelers perfectly. He had more yards than Flacco last year and a better rating but Flacco was better.

    I can’t wait for the excuses for why the Ravens don’t sweep the Steelers this year. No Suggs, Upshaw’s shoulder never heals right, Ray Ray is getting too slow. O-line cant help Flacco enough. This will be fun to watch them flame out

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