Steelerss RB Rashard Mendenhall said he will play this season, and he didn’t rule out doing so in the
Sept. 9 season opener in Denver.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has said it usually takes a year to fully recover from that injury. And the Steelers have braced for the possibility that Mendenhall will spend the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list.
Mendenhall is in the final year of his contract, but the Steelers’ 2008 first-round pick plans on playing through whatever risk comes with returning this season. When asked if there is any chance he won’t play in 2012, Mendenhall said, “I don’t see that happening at all.”
Mendenhall tore his ACL extremely late in the season, so we're not expecting him to return to form in 2012. He's a strong candidate to start the season on the PUP list, which means he'd be out for the first six weeks of the season. Even if he is available early in the season, the Steelers will probably ease him back into action and lean on the very capable Isaac Redman, who has a better career YPC (4.5 to Mendenhall's 4.1). Due to the overwhelming positivity that prevails at this point in the offseason, this situation is a little murky right now, but most of the signs point to Redman having the better year.