Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer got a big opportunity when injuries took Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall out of the lineup in the last two weeks and he made the most of it with the first consecutive 100-yard rushing games for the Steelers by the same back since 2007.
Despite that kind of production, Dwyer doesn’t think that he should hold onto the starting job once everyone’s healthy. Dwyer said Wednesday that the depth chart should return to its previous state once Mendenhall is healthy.
“I mean, Rac is the guy,” Dwyer said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Rac has been here for years, and they drafted him in the first round to be a starter. That’s his room and we complement him.”
Dwyer’s saying all the right things and Mendenhall might be the first running back on the field when he returns to action, but that shouldn’t change the pecking order too much. Dwyer’s averaging more than five yards per carry and he’s given the Steelers run game a jolt it was missing early in the season. With Mendenhall set for unrestricted free agency, Dwyer also appears to be the future at the position in Pittsburgh and that will likely impact Pittsburgh’s decision making in terms of backfield playing time.
Mendenhall was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday as he makes his way back from an Achilles problem. Redman was a full participant after missing the last two games with a sprained ankle. Dwyer didn’t practice because of a quadriceps injury, but he’s expected back on the field Thursday.