No surprise, the Steelers don't expect Mendenhall to fully recover until 2013
Ed Bouchette wrote earlier today the Steelers running back situation and the potential outlook without Rashard Mendenhall. Citing previous comments by Kevin Colbert and just basically using common sense as Bouchette always does.
They do not believe Rashard Mendenhall will be of much use to them in 2012, which is the final year of his contract.
It’s possible Mendenhall may have had his last carry with the Steelers.
Sources told me that the Steelers will not count on Mendenhall returning to form until at least the 2013 season, and his contract with the Steelers will have expired by then. GM Kevin Colbert basically said he’s not counting on him until 2013 when he said this on Feb. 13: “I never feel good about an ACL until a year. I’m not a doctor, but that's my mindset. If he gets back before that, to me it's a bonus.”
Even if he does get back before that, however, he’s not expected to be at the level he was as a running back before the injury in the playoff game at Denver and subsequent surgery. The Steelers not only have lost Mendenhall, they likely won’t re-sign UFA Mewelde Moore.
I don't think anyone really expected him to be a big factor in 2012 anyway. Things could turn out differently though and perhaps he will be able to contribute but you certainly can't count on it.
How content are you with Redman, Clay, Dwyer, Batch, and possibly Moore as your backfield for 2012? Do you want to see them seriously consider a RB in the draft this April? Perhaps Isaiah Pead?
Personally I think this is his last year in Pittsburgh.