Isaac Redman, Not Rashard Mendenhall, Reportedly Will Start for Steelers

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball against Joe Mays #51 of the Denver Broncos during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Running back Isaac Redman will start in place of the injured Rashard Mendenhall for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday night's season opener in Denver.

This according to ESPN reporter Josina Anderson via Twitter on Sunday morning:

Sources: Steelers RB Isaac Redman will get the start tonight against the Broncos.

— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 9, 2012

Redman is entering his third NFL season, all with the Steelers. The Bowie State product played in all 16 regular season games for the Steelers in 2011, carrying the ball 110 times for 479 yards and three touchdowns. He was the Steelers' second-leading rusher in 2011.

Redman's 4.4 yards per carry average last season was actually better than Mendenhall's, so there shouldn't be much cause for concern in Pittsburgh with Redman starting in the backfield. He is experienced and a capable runner at 6'0", 230 pounds. 

Mendenhall is currently in the midst of recovering from a torn ACL that he went down with in Week 17 of last season against the Cleveland Browns.

Despite missing Mendenhall's quickness and explosion in the backfield in Week 1, the Steelers can be confident putting Redman up against the NFL's 22nd-ranked rush defense a year ago.

Denver allowed over 126 rushing yards per week in 2011, while the Steelers averaged nearly 119 yards on the ground per game.

Fantasy owners would be wise to start Redman this weekend considering that he has proven himself to be a reliable rusher in the past and now will officially be starting in the Pittsburgh backfield on Sunday night.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off their 2012 NFL season on the road against the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. ET.


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