Ebb And Flow Will Likely Result In Rashard Mendenhall Being Gone In 2013

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear on Tuesday that the running back depth chart would not change this week and that former first round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall would have to wait for his next opportunity, if it ever comes.

Mendenhall was one of the 7 inactive players this past week against the Baltimore Ravens and appears to be headed for that same fait again this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Tomlin made it clear that because Mendenhall does not play special teams, combined with the fact that they might need to dress 8 offensive linemen again, that the future unrestricted free agent running back would have to wait to redeem himself.

It has been a very disappointing year for Mendenhall, who is not yet even a year removed from his knee injury suffered in the final week of the 2011 season against the Cleveland Browns. He missed the first three games of the season continuing his rehab before making his season debut against the Philadelphia Eagles. In that game he registered over 100 all-purpose yards and scored once. Since that time, however, he has 21 rushes for 45 yards and 4 receptions totaling 28 yards in 3 games worth of action. Oh yeah, he has also fumbled 3 times in that limited action and lost one of them which played a big part in his demotion.

It is hard to fathom that Mendenhall has played in only 4 games this season. In addition to missing the first three games due to his rehab, he also missed four additional ones after suffering an Achilles injury in his second game back against the Tennessee Titans.

Will Mendenhall suit up again this season? Odds are good that he will considering how the Steelers stable of running backs have had a hard time staying healthy this season, but there are also no guarantees. Should Jonathan Dwyer hold down the job for the remainder of the season, Mendenhall might be lucky to dress for games, yet alone play in them.

Mendenhall will be unrestricted following the season and he will likely get offers on the market despite his decreased value. I stated back in June that I thought this could indeed be his final year in Pittsburgh, but I never envisioned that his final year would go the way this one has.

“Rashard will get an opportunity to redeem himself, I’m sure, at some point along this journey,” Tomlin said on Tuesday. “That’s the nature of this thing. There’s ebb and flow and opportunities are presented.”

Tomlin is right. There is ebb and flow and opportunities presented in the NFL, that ebb and flow, however, might end with Mendenhall being presented opportunities to play in a different uniform in 2013.

  • steeltown

    I forgot he had a solid game against the Eagles way back when.. getting injured again didnt help his contract or FA status. Its almost a distant memory now when he had those consecutive 1100yd seasons back in ’09 and ’10 Ive always liked Mendenhall, but he, at this point, is not worth a huge contract

  • Primanti05

    adios Twitter Mendenhall! Your fumble was crucial in the Super Bowl loss…Time to move on.

  • israelp

    Did you see “ebb and flow” in a transcription? Maybe he meant he would ask fans and allow Eb and Flo to decide.

  • SteelerDave

    One would think the Steelers will take a RB in the next draft. The class for RB’s is rather weak but one name, if there in round 2, the Steelers would be unwise to pass on is Eddie Lacy.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I would love to see what Marcus Lattimore could do for us. I think he deserves a chance after the injury, and because of the injury we could grab him later

  • Phil Heidenreich

    He’d be a great pick as long as the coaching is fine without an “established” back. I for one love Dwyer and Redman and with Rainey and possibly Batch, would welcome a rookie to the mix again.

  • Ahmad

    I kinda feel sorry for Mendy. I felt he would have been a great fit in the new offense, but due to the torn ACL and the Achilles, he hasn’t been able to stay on the field.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Bad break for mendy tearing his ACl going into his contract year and then hurting his achilles. I’ve always liked him and his skill set but this year just seems like a wash kinda what i expected post ACL injury. He’s a good back just not Adrian Peterson. Hopes he gets a good contract next year but it looks like it wont be with the Steelers. J Dwyer better take advantage and come into camp in better shape. He needs a conditoning coach baaadddd

  • zyzak

    No reason to ever draft a RB, just sign free agents. Dwyer needs to do some wind sprints. He’s loses a lot of energy more quickly than any back I’ve seen

  • I’m a huge Marcus Lattimore fan. Yes, he’s talented, but he’s also a leader who has a huge amount of passion for playing football. I think we could make some room for a guy like that.

  • Mike Carroll

    I like the potential Dwyer brings, but unfortunately it seems like motivation could be a problem with him. He came into camp out of shape before and he’s seemingly pulled himself out of the game after just a couple carries. And after having his two 100 yard games earlier this year he was quick to defer the starting job to Mendenhall for whatever reason. Maybe he thought that was the politically correct thing to do, but I’d much rather him say he would play as hard as possible when given the opportunity to help the team win.

    It’s tough to take the idea that motivation may prevent him seizing this opportunity, because the guy has a chance to be star for this team. I think we’ll get some answers regarding his desire down the stretch here. The team is basically begging him to become the player he looks like he can be.

  • Andrew Grigsby

    I feel bad for the kid really thought he would bounce back much better than he has,sure has been a odd season for him. His only real differance from Dryer to me is his ability to catch the football out of the back field. RB these days are a dime a dozen really.

  • Cletus

    Yep, his fate will be determined by Ebb and Flow. Ebb = 33, Flow = 27.