Steelers' Mendenhall ready to run in 2012
Rashard Mendenhall said he will play this season, and the Steelers running back didn't rule out doing so in theSept. 9 season opener in Denver.
“There's always the possibility,” Mendenhall said Wednesday. “I'll be back at some point. It's just a matter of what point that is.”
Mendenhall's future here has been murky, on several levels, since he tore the ACL in his right knee Jan. 1.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has said it usually takes a year to fully recover from that injury. And the Steelers have braced for the possibility that Mendenhall will spend the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list.
Mendenhall is in the final year of his contract, but the Steelers' 2008 first-round pick plans on playing through whatever risk comes with returning this season. When asked if there is any chance he won't play in 2012, Mendenhall said, “I don't see that happening at all.”
Mendenhall, the Steelers' leading rusher the past three seasons, said he is still experiencing soreness and swelling in the knee he hurt in the Steelers' 2011 regular-season finale in Cleveland.
The 5-foot-10, 225-pounder didn't appear to be favoring it while running on the side during the Steelers' first two offseason practices, and Mendenhall said he has been cutting and doing other things that put him on track to return in 2012.
There is not a whole lot in the way of experience behind Mendenhall.
Third-year man Isaac Redman has shown promise, but he has made just two career starts. No other healthy running back on the roster has more than 25 career carries.
The Steelers are eager to see if Redman, who rushed for 213 yards in the final two games last season, is ready to handle an increased workload.
“Everybody here has confidence in Isaac,” Mendenhall said.
Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Steelers’ prime-time games shrink attendance at Heinz Field
- Steelers offense puts up gaudy numbers in season’s 1st half
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger, offense must adjust with CB Smith out
- Steelers notebook: Offensive lineman Adams returns to reserve role
- Steelers wide receiver Brown getting accolades as one of NFL’s best
- Greene expects Steelers jersey retirement ceremony to get emotional
- Roethlisberger’s performance arguably among NFL’s greatest
- Steelers film session: Accuracy propels Roethlisberger vs. Colts
- Steelers look ahead vs. Baltimore Ravens: All John Harbaugh does is win
- Rossi: Roethlisberger’s 100th was legendary, maybe more
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers