The Pittsburgh Steelers could be in the market for a running back as the team prepares to head into the 2012 season without the services of RB Rashard Mendenhall. Addressing the media on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert announced that the running back could very well miss the entire 2012 season while rehabbing an ACL knee injury.
Colbert, when asked about the possibility of Mendenhall returning in 2012, he responded, “I never feel good about an ACL until (after) a year. I’m not a doctor, but that’s just my mindset. If he gets back before that, it’s a bonus.”
The Steelers will likely start the season by placing Mendenhall on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Pittsburgh can keep Mendenhall on the PUP list for the first six weeks of the 2012 regular season. After that, the Steelers would have to either release him or place him on season ending injured reserve.
The Steelers could now be in the market to add a running back. Colbert told reporters, “Could we add a back? Sure. Are we saying we have to add a back? No.”
I would be inclined to believe that the Steelers will be adding a back either through free agency or in April’s NFL Draft. As of now, Issac Redman heads into the 2012 season penciled in as the Steelers starting running back. Redman is an exclusive rights free agent in 2012.