Rashard Mendenhall will suit up vs. Bengals


With the Pittsburgh Steelers facing a must-win situation Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, could the troubled season of running back Rashard Mendenhall come full circle?

Mendenhall, who has been injured half the season and in head coach Mike Tomlin’s dog house the rest of it, will be active this afternoon at Heinz Field.

November 18, 2012; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall (34) runs the ball past Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) and cornerback Corey Graham (24) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Ravens won the game, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

With the Steelers rushing attack struggling so badly, would Tomlin dare turn to Mendenhall to try and get it back on track?

It’s doubtful he plays much of a role, but who knows?

While he is active, his participation (if any) will depend on the flow of the game.

The former Steelers’ No. 1 back hasn’t dressed since Nov. 25 in Cleveland, where he fumbled twice on four carries. Mendenhall, the team’s leading rusher for the previous three seasons, was inactive for the next two games and was suspended last Sunday when he failed to show up for the Dec. 9 game at Heinz Field.

It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to try and get Mendenhall going, but it will be tough. No team in football has been as good against the run the last five weeks and Mendenhall has averaged only 50.8 yards in six career games against the Bengals.

Jonathan Dwyer is expected to get the start, but we will see when and if Mendenhall gets the chance to make an impact.

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