What seemed to be a promising turnaround for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ running game ended up being yet another nightmarish start. Not only did the Steelers’ ground attack only manage to muster up 32 total rushing yards in their 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans, they suffered an unsuspecting blow to their backfield.
Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling left the game with a torn ACL, and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season. Pittsburgh already has rookie Le’Veon Bell sidelined with a mid-foot sprain, which leaves Isaac Redman and Felix Jones as the team’s primary ball carriers for the time being.
Redman received the nod to start in the season opener, and left many very disappointed with his nine-yard rushing performance, and his fumble in the red zone. Though Jones proved his worth in limited time in the preseason, he still doesn’t have a full grasp of the Steelers’ offensive playbook.
With the current status of Pittsburgh’s running back stable, and the overall position of the offensive line, I wouldn’t be surprised if the organization tries to lure free-agent running back Jonathan Dwyer back to the Steel City. Dwyer was surprisingly released after the team acquired Jones in a trade, despite being the team’s most productive back during the preseason.
Reuniting with Dwyer seems to be the best bet for the Steelers and their offense right now. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will need to lean on some production from the ground attack, especially after the loss of Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey for the season. Dwyer has a year of the team’s offense under his belt, and will be the best solution for Pittsburgh’s running game until Bell is healthy enough to play.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+