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Steelers suspend Mendenhall for 1 game for violating team rules

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 6:42 p.m.

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, barely seen on the field for weeks, is now invisible off it, too — and it will cost him a week's paycheck.

Mendenhall, benched after fumbling twice Nov. 25 in Cleveland was suspended one game Tuesday for violating team rules. He won't practice this week or attend Sunday's game in Dallas.

Mendenhall, who already knew he would be deactivated for a second consecutive game, wasn't seen on the sideline Sunday during the Steelers' 34-24 loss to San Diego at Heinz Field. It's team policy that players on the 53-man roster attend games, and nearly all watch from the bench area.

The suspension was announced about six hours after coach Mike Tomlin said Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman would remain the top two running backs.

Mendenhall, a 2008 first-round draft pick and a 1,000-yard back in 2009 and '10, missed seven games because of injuries earlier this season. He has gained only 113 yards and, as unrestricted free agent after this season, is expected to sign elsewhere.

Tomlin said after benching Mendenhall that he would “get an opportunity to redeem himself,” but that hasn't happened.

The former Illinois star created a stir 18 months ago when he posted a message on his Twitter account questioning what really happened Sept. 11, 2001, and asking why Americans hated the late Osama bin Laden.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at arobinson@tribweb.com.

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