Before last week’s game against the San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall was informed by the team that he would be inactive for the game. As a result, Mendenhall decided not to be with the team for their home game in Week 14.
Even though Mendenhall didn’t suit up for the game, his absence has forced the Steelers to suspend him for this week’s game versus the Dallas Cowboys. This reason was listed as “conduct detrimental to the team.”
The team’s leading rusher over the past three years has been sidelined most of the season with injuries, with the most resent injury being to his right Achilles. Mendenhall’s last game action was in a loss against the Cleveland Browns, when he fumbled twice and only gained six yards on four carries.
I don’t know if Mendy’s decision not to be with the team was his way of protesting his inactive status for Week 14, but I do know that it wasn’t a smart move on Mendenhall’s part. The 2008 first-round draft pick is in his final year of his contract. The fact that injuries have kept him from producing on the field might not count against him as much as this act will.
This type of conduct just might cost him a new contract with Pittsburgh for next season. Although Mendenhall’s agent said that everything would be fine after the suspension, it still might be a possibility of Mendenhall not being re-signed during the offseason.
The only way that I see Mendy staying in the Steel City is if Pittsburgh makes it to the postseason, and Mendenhall plays well in the final two games of the regular season and in the playoffs. If this doesn’t happen, don’t be surprised to see Mendy in another uniform next season.
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