Found November 08, 2012 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
According to running back coach Kirby Wilson the Steelers starting running back will be Rashard Mendenhall when he is healthy. Mendenhall is not expected to play Monday night against the Chiefs, but could play the following week in the Steelers first match-up with the Baltimore Ravens. Over the past two weeks the Steelers run game has emerged with a one hundred yard rusher in all three games. Jonathan Dwyer gained 122 yards against the Bengals and 107 yards against the Redskins; both efforts came on 17 carries. A week later, with Dwyer sidelined due to a quadriceps injury, Isaac Redman carried the ball 26 times and just missed gaining 150 yards on the ground as he finished with 147 yards and a touchdown. Mendenhall has only carried the ball 19 times this season. He is coming off a torn ACL suffered in week 17 of the 2011 season and injured his achilles in his second week back this year. Mendenhall provided a sprak in his only full game of the 2012 season with 101 total yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. Even though reports came out about Wilson’s comments on Mendenhall there are now conflicting reports on who will start at running back. Jonathan Dwyer thinks the Steelers should go to a running back by committee scenario that would see all three backs getting playing time when healthy. Coach Mike Tomlin, however, would like to get away from that format and play the hot hand. Right now the Steelers have two hot hands at running back in Redman and Dwyer and it will be interesting to see who gets the start on Monday night. Dwyer is expected to be back from his quad injury and Redman will play for the second week in a row after recovering from an ankle injury. Both running backs will likely see time against the Chiefs Monday night, but who gets the majority of the carries is yet to be seen. The Chiefs are tired for worst in the league with a 1-7 record and the odds-makers have the Steelers winning by just under two touchdowns so perhaps both players will see lots of playing time in the second half, or so we can hope. No matter what happens this week, however, it sounds like Mendenhall will get a chance to start again when healthy. That could mean his next start will come against the Ravens when the Steelers host them next week in a pivotal AFC North match-up. Along with Mendenhall on the injury list for Monday are Antonio Brown, Troy Polamalu, and Marcus Gilbert who are all expected to be out. However, as with Mendenhall there is speculation that all four (Mendenhall included) could be back on November 18th against the Ravens which would give the Steelers a boost on both sides of the ball. The only question left is whether or not Mendenhall will have the same success that Dwyer and Redman have shared the past three weeks. If he is unable to keep the running game going when he does return from injury how long will the Steelers stick with him before making a change? And if they are forced to make a change who takes over as the new number one guy? These tough choices won’t end for the Steelers when the 2012 season does either. Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall will all become free agents following the season; Mendenhall, however, will be the only unrestricted free agent.  That means the Steelers will have to decide who to bring back and who to let walk. It is unlikely they will resign all three, so who becomes the odd man out? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. The post Steelers Have Tough Choices to Make at Runningback with Dwyer, Redman, and Mendenhall appeared first on SteelBlitz.
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