Jonathan Dwyer has impressed in starts his last two games, but he knows that Rashard Mendenhall is the team's No. 1 back when he returns from injuries that have limited him to only two games this year.
Dwyer has started the last two games and has been a major asset for a team that has struggled to move the ball all year on the ground with Mendenhall hurt for all but two games. However, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the third-year running back out of Georgia Tech knows his role on the team, and that it isn't starter.
"I mean, Rac is the guy," said Dwyer, referring to Mendenhall by his nickname. "Rac has been here for years, and they drafted him in the first round to be a starter. That's his room and we complement him."
Mendenhall has only been able to play in one full game for the Steelers, Week 5 against the Eagles, when he registered 68 yards rushing and 33 receiving. However, after missing the team's first three games with a knee injury, he tweaked his Achilles in the next game, and hasn't played since. Dwyer, along with Isaac Redman, were supposed to be the backups, but they too have dealt with injuries: Redman missed the Steelers' last game against the Redskins with a sprained ankle, and Dwyer left after recording 122 yards with a tight thigh. That's forced Chris Rainey and Baron Batch into limited action.
But Dwyer's performances the past two weeks have been by far the best the Steelers have been able to put forth all year long.
Mendenhall and Redman are questionable for this week's game against the Giants, and although Redman sat out practice Wednesday, it was just for rest, and he is expected to play.