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Steelers' Mendenhall sits with hamstring strain

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Steelers' first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall missed Saturday's two practices with a hamstring strain and will be held out of today's final practice, coach Mike Tomlin said.

"It's becoming somewhat commonplace for some of these high-round draft picks to have this situation happen to them during mimicamp weekend," Tomlin said.

A year ago, the Steelers' top two draft picks, Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley, were sidelined on the first day of minicamp because of similar injuries.

Mendenhall, the No. 23 overall pick, participated in both of Friday's practices.

"We're going to hold him out the rest of this weekend," Tomlin said. "This just appears to be a hamstring strain. We expect him to come back full participation when we proceed with the offseason (workouts)."

The Steelers' next organized team activity is May 20-22.

Afternoon rest

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Willie Parker missed yesterday's afternoon practice after participating in the morning workout.

Roethlisberger was excused for personal reasons. Parker, who is recovering from a broken leg suffered last December, was scheduled to practice in the morning only.

Because of rain, the Steelers practiced indoors yesterday.

Needed help

Asked about the Steelers' draft, linebacker Larry Foote said the team helped itself on defense.

"We got a couple of young linebackers (third-round selection Bruce Davis and sixth-round pick Bruce Humpal). We got a safety (seventh-round pick Ryan Mundy)," Foote said. "I don't really think we need any starters to come in, but some guys that are going to contribute and be backups. We lost Clark (Haggans), so we've got to get another guy in here. If people go down they've got to jump in there and help on special teams."

Steelers sign WR

Kevin Marion, a wide receiver from Wake Forest, signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent. The 5-foot-10, 168-pounder caught 18 passes for 192 yards in 2007.

A spot became available after the team released wide receiver/return specialist Dorien Bryant, who did not pass a physical.

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