Rashard Mendenhall Injury: Latest Updates on Steelers RB's Week 7 Status

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 16, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 7, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

If Rashard Mendenhall is able to push through his Achilles injury and play in Week 7, he has a solid matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals waiting for him. 

That's a big "if."

Mendenhall, who suffered the injury on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans and is just 10 months removed from an ACL tear, is pretty much the epitome of "questionable" for Sunday night's game.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette:

Pouncey, Mendenhall, Redman day to day for #Steelers

— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 16, 2012

Of course, Mendenhall said on Monday that his heel was "just irritated," so this could just be the Steelers playing it safe early in the week. 

Should that be that case, Mendy on the mend is in line for a redemption game after tallying a menacing 17 total yards on seven touches against that vaunted Titans defense last week.

The Bengals are 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per attempt (4.3) and 21st in rushing yards allowed per game (118.7).

However, don't go throwing Mendenhall into your fantasy lineups just yet. 

The Steelers' offensive line, especially in terms of run blocking, is in shambles after last week's war, and in Cincy's last three games, it has allowed 2.6 yards per carry to Trent Richardson, 2.5 yards per carry to Reggie Bush and 2.9 yards per carry to Maurice Jones-Drew.

Nonetheless, regardless of whatever production he would provide, Mendenhall would without a doubt give the Steelers, a team that has struggled immensely the run the ball with consistency, an added threat and an extra dimension of the offensive end.

Ben Roethlisberger may be comfortable throwing the ball 45 times per game, but Mendenhall would, at the very least, take some pressure off the big quarterback.

If the former Illinois star can't go, expect Isaac Redman, who is dealing with an ankle injury, to start in his place. If Redman can't go, Baron Batch would get his first career start.