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Rashard Mendenhall will return to play vs. Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall will play this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Mendenhall's return will mark the end of his recovery from offseason knee surgery that repaired a torn ACL. Mendenhall suffered the injury during last season's regular-season finale.

The return of the 5-foot-10, 225-pound tailback will be welcomed by the Steelers offense, which currently ranks 31st in the NFL in rushing yards per game (65.0). Backup Isaac Redman has yet to total more than 50 rushing yards in a game.Jonathan Dwyer also has handled a bulk of the carries in the Steelers' first four games.

That trend should change when Mendenhall takes over as the Steelers featured back. In two of his last three seasons, the University of Illinois product has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.

It's still unclear how fully recovered Mendenhall is, but he has been seen cutting and running well in practice for weeks now. The Steelers have been holding Mendenhall out for precautionary reasons.

This story originally appeared at SB Nation.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.