Rashard Mendenhall and 5 NFL Players We Gave Up on Too Soon

Justine BrownCorrespondent IIOctober 17, 2011

Rashard Mendenhall and 5 NFL Players We Gave Up on Too Soon

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    Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall rushed for just 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first four games to start the season.  Then, as the woes continued, Mendenhall missed Week 5 with a hamstring injury.  

    Heading into Week 6, with many considering Mendenhall to be a disappointment so far this season, head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned the idea of Mendenhall splitting carries.   However, Mendenhall came out on Sunday rushed for 146 yards and one touchdown, proving that folks may have jumped ship a little too early.  

    Here are four others who seem to have turned things around within the last few weeks.

Michael Turner: Atlanta Falcons

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    Although Michael Turner wasn't exactly given up on by everybody, his rushing yardages the past few weeks have been a little low.

    After rushing for 114 yards in Week 1, Turner had a combined 146 yards in Week 2, 3 and 4.  However, Turner came back in Week 5 and ran with a vengeance, racking up 139 yards and two touchdowns while leading the Falcons to a 31-17 win over the Panthers.

Anquan Boldin: Baltimore Ravens

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    With just one touchdown reception on the season heading into Week 6, Anquan Boldin played like he had something to prove against the Houston Texans.  Catching eight passes for 132 yards, Boldin did not score a touchdown, but he may have shown he can again be a viable option for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Alex Smith: San Francisco 49ers

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    Seven years and a number of chances later, 2005 No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith may finally be emerging as a decent starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.  After beating the undefeated Detroit Lions on Sunday 25-19, the the 49ers are 4-1 and Smith has a lot to do with their success.  Perhaps Smith will salvage his career after all.

Ahmad Bradshaw: New York Giants

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    Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw was slowly developing into a 2011 bust prior to New York's Week 5 bye.  Then, just when it seems its almost time to give up hope, the Giants return from their bye week relying heavily on their run game, and Bradshaw rushes for 104 yards and three touchdowns.  

    Bradshaw may be turning things around.