Much of the talk around the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason has been about the status of running back Rashard Mendenhall, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the team's regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns. Mendenhall took to Twitter on Friday morning to share with his followers a very upbeat prognosis.
My knee has healed wonderfully, thanks for all the well wishes!â Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) July 13, 2012
At the end of Steelers minicamp in June, general manager Kevin Colbert made a fairly educated guess that Mendenhall would open training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. This would be a reasonable assessment of the situation, considering that the normal recovery time from a torn ACL is generally nine to 12 months.
To be eligible to start the regular season on the PUP list, Mendenhall would have to be on the PUP list to open camp. Since Mendenhall might not be at 100 percent until November or so, there's little chance that Colbert will jeopardize roster flexibility just to rush Mendenhall back to the field.
Forcing him to roam the sidelines for the first six weeks of the season might be the wisest move for both the team and Mendenhall, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2013.