Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall was reinstated by the team on Monday following his one week suspension for conduct detrimental to the team for not showing up at Heinz Field for the game against the San Diego Chargers after being told that he would not dress for the game.
With Mendenhall now back in the fold head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his Tuesday press conference if the former first round draft pick would be given a shot to start this week against the Cincinnati Bengals or if he was still happy with Jonathan Dwyer as the starter.
“I am happy with the rotation as it is now,” said Tomlin. “I look forward to getting Rashard back in the building and participating with his teammates and kind of let that participation lead us in terms of etching out a potential role for him.”
Tomlin was also asked if he would like to see the running backs get the ball more moving forward.
“I would like to see them get it more, particularly a defined feature runner, said Tomlin. “We haven\’t for a variety of reasons. We\’re not going to make excuse for that, but were excited about the plan we potentially have put together this week. We were successful in running the ball against these guys the last time. We don\’t anticipate that it being easy just because that has been our past experience, but we are comfortable with the formulation of the plan and we look forward to having those guys get a big part of what we do.”
Reading in between the lines it looks as if there is a chance that Mendenhall could dress Sunday against the Bengals and have some sort of role if his attitude is good this week like his agent promised it would be following his suspension.
The Steelers currently have five running backs on the 53 man roster right and it might be hard to dress all five due to the fact the special teams factor.
Mendenhall is in the final year of his contract and scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the season.