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.