Jonathan Dwyer will likely start for the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) against the Washington Redskins (3-4) on Sunday. Rashard Mendehnall has been ruled out with an Achilles injury and Isaac Redman’s availability will likely come down to a game-time decision after being limited in practice throughout the week.
According to the Associated Press (via Yahoo! Sports), Dwyer will be the guy for the Steelers even if Redman does suit up.
Dwyer had an excellent coming-out party against the Cincinnati Bengals in relief duty in Week 7. Recording his first start of the season, the former Georgia Tech product accrued 12 fantasy points (ESPN standard scoring) by rushing for 122 yards on 17 carries.
Those aren't bad numbers for a guy making his second NFL start in a pivotal AFC North divisional matchup.
The Steelers hadn’t had a 100-yard rusher on the season prior to Dwyer’s big Week 7 performance.
What will Dwyer's final stat line be vs. Skins?
Another benefit for Dwyer is the presumed availability of superstar center Maurkice Pouncey. Pouncey said he will play, according to a report on Friday by WPXI in Pittsburgh.
The return of Pouncey will greatly boost the running game and give the Steelers a big boost offensively, although they’ve done pretty well in his absence.
While the Redskins have done a relatively good job of stopping the run this season, Dwyer is the type of running back that can extend plays by not going down on first contact. He’s a big-bodied and quick-footed back with the ability to move piles and sustain drives.
Look for Dwyer to run for about 80 yards and score one touchdown while catching a couple of passes out of the backfield for around 20 yards at Heinz Field on Sunday.
Mike Hoag Jr. is a B/R Breaking News Team writer and covers the NFL and Cleveland Browns for the site. Follow him on Twitter for analysis and updates on the latest news and happenings in the sports world.