It’s been a bit hard to gauge just where Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall stands in his return from a torn ACL.
He practices during the week, but winds up listed as doubtful on Friday and then misses the game on Sunday as the Steelers go with Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Chris Rainey out of the backfield. Mendenhall was listed as a full participant again this Wednesday and it sounds like things may actually be ramping up a bit toward a return to game action for Mendenhall. He’s taking contact for the first time and said that it felt good.
“It felt normal, it felt natural,” said Mendenhall, via the team’s website. “I was hit more in space, things like that, but no different than what I have done before. The defense was making more of an effort to hit so that was the difference. It’s just enough to get prepared for a game situation. You don’t prepare for it fully, that takes care of itself in the game. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone. It was cool. It was all good.”
The Steelers got linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, who has missed both of the first two games, back at practice on Wednesday, but linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu remained sidelined. Running back Jonathan Dwyer also didn’t practice because of a turf toe injury and wide receivers Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders were also non-participants in practice.
Wallace is listed as having a groin injury while Sanders is listed with a knee injury. It’s the first we’ve heard about either problem and we’ll find out later this week if there’s reason for concern or if the Steelers were just resting the wideouts.