Jonathan Dwyer thinks Rashard Mendenhall should start if healthy

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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.

7 responses to “Jonathan Dwyer thinks Rashard Mendenhall should start if healthy

  1. Haha what a bust. Giants dline will eat him alive. Hes still suffering from nightmares of Haloti Ngata bulldozing him.

  2. Which are you calling a bust? Dwyer or Mendenhall? The Steelers didn’t play the Ravens yet this year, so I’m not sure when somebody was “bulldozed” by Haloti Ngata.

    Ray Lewis injured Mendenhall once, is that the play you are referring too?

    I’m so confused by your comment.

  3. Smart move by Dwyer. When Mendenhall comes back, some team will fall in love with what he has done this year and give him the RB version of a Matt Flynn contract…

  4. It’s obvious to me. Somebody sure is worried about what the Steelers will do to their team in a couple weeks. Have fun now, the Raven’s season is just about over. The Steelers will win the AFCN this year. They are on the way up, while the Ravens are on the way down, including losing to the Browns this weekend.

  5. He has to say this because anything else would cause a rift. Compare performance and Dwyer wins, no contest. The NFL is not about what have you done for me, rather what have you done for me lately. And lately Dwyer has outshined them all. Tomlin would be a fool if he starts anyone other than Dwyer. And it will give additional time for the more injured players to heal. With as many touches Dwyer is/will be getting he could go down any time, then we have Mendy and Redman as close to 100% as possible. Win-Win. Run JD Run !!!

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