Mendenhall has been out since tearing his ACL in the team's regular season finale last season. He's been slowly working his way back into playing shape while the Steelers' offense has struggled to establish itself on the ground -- tallying 65 yards per game, the third-worst average in the league, on only 2.6 yards per carry. Mendenhall, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in both of the NFL seasons he's been able to play 16 games, will likely immediately rise to the top of the depth chart over Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. Although Mendenhall praised his teammates, Redman admitted the team's running back picture would see him in a lesser role:
"[Mendenhall] will come in and be the feature guy, and that keeps me on the sidelines and we will come in to spell him. I think Rashard has that gifted ability to make those quick cuts and get to the outside and have those big, long, breakaway runs."
Redman currently leads the team with a paltry 72 yards through three games. Mendenhall sat for the team's first three games and was able to use a Week 4 bye as additional time to rehabilitate the knee into game-ready shape.