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Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman ruled out for Week 7

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Steelers running back depth hits state of alarm, as carries likely to be split by Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch Sunday at Cincinnati.

Frederick Breedon

If the Steelers wanted a reason to throw the ball Sunday when they take on the Bengals, they may now have it.

Running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle), the team's top two rushers on the league's 31st-ranked rushing offense, will miss Sunday's Week 7 game.

Third-year player Jonathan Dwyer - who has been ineffective in several opportunities this year, and second-year (first year playing) back Baron Batch will likely split the carries for the Steelers.

The amount of carries they'll receive is another question altogether.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert will also miss the game, giving rookie Mike Adams his first career start. Back-up outside linebacker Chris Carter (hamstring) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) will also not play.

Center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) is the big question mark. If he misses, and the Steelers offense turns into something more resembling the blowout or preseason team, the game plan may be a bit more pass-heavy than expected. It also could be the kind of a lineup change a team struggling greatly to run the ball (74 yards a game) needs after five games.