Steelers Making Broncos Prepare For Mendenhall

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday during his press conference that the door is open for running back Rashard Mendenhall to play Sunday night in the opener against the Denver Broncos. While the likelihood of Mendenhall actually playing remains low, the Broncos coaching staff must still prepare for the former first round draft pick just in case, as he is in the believable time frame of making a return to the field after tearing his ACL in the season finale last year against the Cleveland Browns.

Mendenhall, who was removed from the PUP list back in the middle of August, has looked “incredible” in practice according to defensive end Brett Keisel. Perhaps Keisel and others are helping out with the gamesmanship, and if so, they are doing a good job.

It is conceivable that Mendenhall could be listed as practicing fully on the injury report this week and ultimately listed as questionable on the Friday injury report. Depending on how the 7th player on the inactive list shakes out, Mendenhall might even dress for the game and warmup with the team prior to kickoff. This would give the appearance that he still might play right up until kickoff.

While I am of the belief that we are still a few weeks away from Mendenhall actually playing in a game, I also thought the running back would start the season on the Reserve PUP list. When you throw in the fact that Isaac Redman is dinged up right now with an ankle injury and Jonathan Dwyer has looked just short of awesome during the preseason, the Broncos are having to prepare for all five Steeler running backs right now and hat can\’t be fun for new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio heading into the first game of a new season with his new team.

  • Tim Culligan

    Just read this form “Star who has a subpar year”

    Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: He won’t have Hines Ward
    to throw to, and it will take some time to establish rhythm with Mike
    Wallace, who was absent for most of the preseason. Most of all, Big Ben
    will miss former coordinator Bruce Arians, who had been his guiding
    light since coming into the league in 2004.
    Love hines, but I seriously doubt we’ll miss him in terms of on field production relative to last year. Saying he and Mike Wallace are on different pages is a joke. Add in the usual Steelers will be worse without BA arguement (still don’t understand it) and all we’re missing is that the Steelers are too old

    Dont get why people are so low on us this year.

  • TJimmy

    Well, I’m sure that they aren’t exactly shaking in their shoes at the thought of Mendenhall showing up on the field. Isaac Redman torched them for 7.1 yards per carry.

  • Jason Brown

    True that, TJimmy….well said. I’m pretty sure that Sister Mary’s School For The Blind’s football team wouldn’t be all that intimidated by “China doll” Mendenhall either.