Steelers Injury Report: Don't expect the return of Rashard Mendenhall against Chiefs in Week 10

Joe Sargent

Steelers won't rush their top runner back into the lineup, but when he's healthy, he'll be the starter. Perhaps they're making sure Mendenhall is 100 percent for their divisional game with Baltimore in Week 11.

A report from Tribune-Review writer Mark Kaboly confirmed what we probably already knew; when Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is healthy, he'll start in the backfield.

The question is when that point of health will begin.

It isn't likely Mendenhall will get the nod this week, with Isaac Redman having run for career regular season highs in yards (147) and carries (26) in Pittsburgh's 24-20 win over the New York Giants in Week 9, Jonathan Dwyer having gone off the prior two weeks, they aren't going to push Mendenhall back too early.

The Steelers are playing on Monday night, so they aren't required to submit an injury report until Thursday, but Kaboly reported Mendenhall isn't likely to play this week.

However, when he's healthy, Kaboly quoted Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson as saying, "Rashard has always been our lead dog and our top runner."

Mendenhall will be the guy when healthy. Conversely, though, if Mendenhall isn't healthy, he won't be the guy.

Is there even a Guy? Redman and Dwyer have both shown recently they can run effectively, certainly with the outstanding blocking they've been getting up front. As we showed in Behind The Steel GIFs Wednesday, blocking like this would benefit even collegiate runners.

Before launching into an entire Chicken vs. The Egg argument of who is more responsible for the Steelers' rushing resurgence, we'll just say it's clearly a combination of both the offensive line and the running backs.

Mendenhall is clearly the superior runner of the three, and knowing that, the Steelers won't put him back onto the field until he's 100 percent.

With the way they're running, though, and the way the Baltimore Ravens are not stopping running games, you'd think Mendenhall would want a shot to crack that first 100 yard game against them in Week 11.


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