The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an unfortunate run of backfield injuries that have forced Jonathan Dwyer into the starting lineup on occasion. After seeing what the former Yellow Jacket has to offer, there is a strong case for him to remain the starter.
There are many options in the Steel City, but Dwyer eventually should rise to the top of the depth chart regardless of anyone else's health.
Now, let's check out the reasons why.
The Case for Dwyer
Have you seen this kid run the ball? His style has Pittsburgh Steelers written all over it. He's a bruiser that relishes dishing out punishment at the end of runs.
That type of attack will serve a couple purposes: It will wear out defenses, and it sets the table perfectly for the speedier Chris Gainey (who will become a bigger part of the offense moving forward).
And don't worry. Dwyer is more than just a fullback with the ball. The 23-year-old is an effective rusher as his 5.2 average would attest.
Any average over 4.5 is starter-worthy. An average over 5.0? That's phenomenal.
He's also shown himself to be a decent pass-catcher as he has hauled in five of his eight targets.
Dwyer has yet to find the end zone, but that's more a product of opportunity.
The Case Against Everyone Else
We can dismiss Rashard Mendenhall right away. He's managed a total of 19 carries over two games. If you can't stay on the field, how are you going to start?
Additionally, he wasn't that effective when he got the rock, with only 3.9 yards per carry this season. Perhaps, he should be put on the IR to get healthy for next year.
We can't dismiss Isaac Redman so easily. He captured plenty of Steelers fans' hearts with his 147-yard day against the New York Giants.
However, I'd temper that enthusiasm.
The Giants have a horrible run defense (113.8 yards/game) and that seems more like a one-game aberration. Redman, even with that game, is still only averaging 3.6 yards per carry this season.
The case for Dwyer has a hole or two, but he's just as good of an option as anyone else on the Pittsburgh roster.
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