Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer might get a chance to start Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals should injuries prevent either Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman from suiting up for the game.
Both Mendenhall and Redman have been unable to practice so far this week after getting injured in the Steelers 26-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans over a week ago. Friday is always a pretty important practice for determining a player\’s status for a game, so should either not work later on today, it will likely mean that they won\’t play Sunday night.
Dwyer has been inactive for the last two games since Mendenhall made his season debut against the Philadelphia Eagles. It also appeared that the Georgia Tech product was in the dog house of head coach Mike Tomlin after he fumbled in the loss to Oakland Raiders back in week 3. He never saw another snap in that game as a result.
Dwyer insisted this week that it was really just a numbers game that resulted in him not suiting up for the last two games. “The way it all happened, it made it look like I wasn\’t playing because I fumbled and things like that,” Dwyer said via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “It was all a numbers game.”
The Steelers former sixth-round draft pick was the Steelers most productive running back during the preseason after rushing for 147 yards on 28 carries, but like the other running backs on the roster, he failed to produce once the regular season got underway. In the first three games of the season Dwyer rushed for 70 yards on 24 carries with a long run of 11 yards.
Should Dwyer wind up starting it would be the first of his career and he is looking forward to it should it happen. “For every running back, their first start is always something special,” Dwyer said. “I\’ll just be excited to get out there playing again.”
The Steelers running game is off to its worst start since the NFL merger as they have only rushed for 374 yards on 126 carries through the first five games of the season. They play a Bengals team Sunday night that has allowed an average of 116.8 yards rushing per game so far and 4.17 yards per rush.