Rashard Mendenhall practiced Wednesday, and he is expected to return to the starting lineup at 1 p.m. Sunday when the Steelers host the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mendenhall missed last week's game with a hamstring injury. He is only averaging 3.0 yards per carry.

His struggles and coach Mike Tomlin's vague answer when asked Tuesday about Mendenhall's role has raised questions about how the Steelers will distribute carries between Mendenhall and the emerging Isaac Redman.

"If Rashard stays patient, he'll get his time," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.

Redman, who made his first career start last Sunday, said he expects Mendenhall to start against Jacksonville. With Mewelde Moore likely to miss a second straight game because of a high ankle sprain, Redman will spell Mendenhall on Sunday and serve as the third-down back.

Mendenhall has gone over the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of the past two seasons. The fourth-year veteran is considerably off that pace with only 173 rushing yards, but yesterday he downplayed his slow start.

"As a running back you have reads, you have plays and you slide and pick and find holes. When it works everybody loves it, when it doesn't it's bad," Mendenhall said. "We just keep everything in perspective."