Rashard Mendenhall will return in the Pittsburgh Steelers' game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, but he won't be doing all the work out of Pittsburgh's backfield, reports Mike Prisuta:
RBs coach Kirby Wilson said Mendenhall won't get 55 snaps Sunday but added #Steelers would like him to get "a significant amount of work"— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) October 4, 2012
Mendenhall hasn't played since surgery on his ACL, which he tore in last season's regular-season finale. He's back to full speed in practice, but the Steelers are being understandably cautious about rushing the star running back into full-time duty. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer weren't stellar in his absence, as the team was last in the league in yards per carry with a measly 2.6. It's not fully clear how the running back rotation will sort itself out besides that Mendenhall won't get all the team's carries. Redman is currently listed as his backup.
The fifth-year running back out of Illinois has averaged 4.1 yards per carry on his career, and his 66.0 yards per game -- a stat that includes his rookie year, when he was not the team's full-time ball carrier -- is more than the 65.0 yards per game the Steelers have mustered as a team in their first three games.