Has Jonathan Dwyer earned starting job with Steelers?


Jonathan Dwyer must represent a gift from the heavens for Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

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It wasn't long ago that the Steelers were on pace for the worst rushing season in their history. It seemed their only hope was Rashard Mendenhall, who was coming off major knee surgery.

Dwyer was just a third-string running back ... roster filler. But when injuries hit the depth chart, he proved he was anything but an afterthought.

Dwyer rushed for 122 yards in Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals. On Sunday, he added 107 yards in a 27-12 win over the Washington Redskins, becoming the first Steelers running back to go over 100 yards in back-to-back games since Willie Parker in 2008.

"He's answered the call and taken advantage of the opportunity, and that's what we expect from our young people," Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The question now becomes if Dwyer's past two games were enough for him to swipe the starting job. Mendenhall and second-string running back Isaac Redman could be back as soon as next week against the New York Giants.

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Tomlin wasn't ready to decide anything Sunday.

"I'll see what they look like next week," Tomlin said. "You're not getting it today."

It's a safe bet Dwyer has moved past Redman in the pecking order, but don't expect Mendenhall to be completely marginalized. At least not yet.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.