Steelers vs. Giants: Who will start at running back?

Justin K. Aller

Getting lost in all the hoopla over the Steelers rejuvenated running game is the fact the top three running backs are all hurt. Heading into full practice Wednesday, Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles), Isaac Redman (ankle) and Jonathan Dwyer (quad) are all banged up.

Jonthan Dwyer nearly doubled the Steelers' rushing output from its first three games in his last five quarters on the field. He leads the team in rushing 299 yards, more than twice as many as second place Rashard Mendenhall.

The one thing Dwyer has in common with the rest of the running backs on the roster, though, is an injury.

Dwyer reportedly injured a quadriceps at the end of the Steelers' 27-12 win in Week 8 over the Washington Redskins, and in wake of Wednesday's practice, could be limited at the early part of the practice schedule.

What else is new, though?

The Steelers have been without Mendenhall, the original starter for five of the Steelers seven games this year as he's recovering from knee surgery this offseason, and an Achilles injury suffered in Pittsburgh's 26-23 loss at Tennessee in Week 6. Isaac Redman was also hurt in that game, and has missed the last two games.

Dwyer was banged up earlier this year, and reportedly was benched for a fumble against Oakland in Week 3.

He's riding shotgun in the Running Back Rollercoaster now, though. Or at least was prior to preparation for Week 9. It's unclear right now whether he'll get the start, or the Steelers will go with their fourth starting running back of the season. Given the fact the Giants are tied for the league lead in interceptions with 16, logic would dictate the Steelers will look to get things moving on the ground, much like they did in their last two games - both wins. The Steelers took control of both of those games with a dominant ground assault, and controlling the tempo of the game will be paramount if they are to pull off their second consecutive road win.

That plan would start with determining which running backs will be available for the game.


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