NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Rumors: Pittsburgh Steelers Starting Running Back Could Start Season on PUP List

I hope you didn’t come to this article looking for an update on Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall.  It’s a given at this point that Mendenhall is going to miss the first six weeks of the season on the PUP(and likely more than that), but this is about a rumor that the current Steelers running back, Isaac Redman is going to end up on the PUP for an injured groin.

Redman had been nursing this injury for a week, sitting out practice and trying to heal a nagging going injury, but today he tried to get back on the field, and this went badly.

Redman gave it a go, but according to those in attendance, really struggled.  He’d look like he was alright, take a hit and go down and then stay down.  On top of that, not only has his groin been giving him problems, but he also reported an injured hip today.

The plan for the Steelers is to get Redman an MRI on Thursday.  Now, this is a rumor and unconfirmed, but depending on the outcome of the MRI, Redman could follow Mendenhall to the PUP list to start the season.  According to rule, that would be Redman wouldn’t even be eligible to return until week 6.

What does it all mean?  A couple of things.  First it means that the running game is going to fall into the hands of the trio of Baron Batch, Jonathan Dwyer, and Chris Rainey.  This probably doesn’t inspire most Steelers fans, but for me, I’m good with it.  New offensive coordinator Todd Haley loves to air it out, and a big part of that is throwing to the backs on swing passes and screens.  Batch and Rainey fit that type perfectly.  Dwyer is probably the best fitting back to pound the football, but his own inability to stay healthy is going to always keep him off the field.

It’s also going to mean that getting Mike Wallace back for week 1, will be even more important.  The burden on Ben Roethlisberger is going to be greater without a between the tackles back on the field, so having his favorite weapon in the passing game back in the fold can’t be a bad thing.

If this rumor is true and Redman does end up on the PUP it’s going to be an exciting preseason for the Steelers as the team will be airing it out more, and it’s two most explosive backs will be on the field even more.  I wish Redman a full recovery, but the fact is, he’s not the answer as a 16 game starter so if or when he’s back in the lineup he’s going to share reps anyway.  May just be that we will get a clearer picture of who is going to be sharing those carries with him.

Follow me on Twitter @nfldraftboard