For those of you -- just about everybody -- who thought that Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall would miss the first handful of games, he looked like a player who could take the field in Week 1, according to teammates after Tuesday's practice.
"He looked incredible," defensive end Brett Keisel said of Mendenhall.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons said, "I thought he looked great. He was running well, finishing runs. I'm excited for him."
Maybe the most important words came from head coach Mike Tomlin, who would not rule Mendenhall out for Sunday's game. Tomlin said he would "leave the door open" for Mendenhall, who is just nine months removed from tearing his right ACL.
It was unexpected enough for Mendenhall to not start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. It would be unbelievably shocking if he is active in five days versus the Broncos. I think this is a lot of gamesmanship from Tomlin, a tactic to make sure the Broncos spend time planning for as many of his players as possible. I still expect Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer to split carries. But this has now become something to keep a very close eye on for the rest of the week. While I think the Steelers will hold Mendenhall out this week, those comments make it seem like he might be ready to take on a large workload by Week 2 or 3.