Steelers expect Rashard Mendenhall back in 2012


Last week, there was a report out of Pittsburgh that the Steelers had already moved on from running back Rashard Mendenhall.

With Mendenhall expected to miss the start of the season as he rehabs his torn ACL, the report contended that the Steelers were already acting as if he had played his last snap with the Steelers. The impetus for this feeling was a comment from general manager Kevin Colbert that it takes a full year for players to return from ACL injuries, which would move Mendenhall right into free agency after the 2012 season.

While they do expect some difficulties as Mendenhall makes his way back from injury, it does seem that report was a bit too aggressive. Colbert told Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Mendenhall still remains in their plans for the 2012 season.

“To clarify, what I said was I never think players coming off an ACL are 100 percent for a full year. It doesn’t mean they can’t play,” Colbert said. “At some point, we’ll have Rashard back. I’m confident of that.”

The Steelers certainly haven’t behaved in free agency like they don’t expect Mendenhall back next season. Isaac Redman might make it easy to live without Mendenhall as a starter, but Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay haven’t proven they are up to extended playing time to this point. The draft might bring other options, but, for now, there’s definitely a role for Mendenhall to fill if he’s healthy enough to fill it.

11 responses to “Steelers expect Rashard Mendenhall back in 2012

  1. Mendenhall will not be ready. I’ll bet on it. IF, and I mean IF he plays, he won’t get more than 150 yards…for the season. The Steelers should have made an attempt to sign Tolbert or Bush. This will be there downfall this year.

  2. Would Mendenhall be a restricted free agent if he playes less than six games this year? Also he was on IR with less than six games played in ’08?

  3. They’ll be fine. Redman is a better north-south runner and will play on 1st and 2nd downs with either Melwelde Moore (assuming he comes back) or Barron Batch playing on 3rd downs. Dwyer and Clay can rotate in once in a while with Redman.

  4. Ravenator,

    Huge bust? He was a late first rounder who had multiple thousand yard seasons…he’s clearly not elite, but a huge bust is not correct at all.

  5. ravenator says:
    Mar 26, 2012 11:01 AM
    And the nightmares of Haloti Ngata will continue for this huge bust.


    And the nightmares of Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff will continue for ravenator

  6. I am not sure why everyone is so down on the Steelers runningback situation. In my opinion the team ran better when Redman, Dwyer and Clay were running the ball. Or did you forget Redman’s motor and the fact he ran the ball harder than #34. How about the fact Dwyer had a 100 yard game last year. WE WILL BE FINE without that bum #34.

  7. #34 is in the wrong line of work He needs to be an cha cha instructor because, he sure know how to dance around the line.

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