By Teresa Varley
It was quite a turnaround for Rashard Mendenhall from one week to the next. After not playing on any offensive snaps against the Bengals in week three because of a disappointing week of practice, Mendenhall stepped up and was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his standout performance against the San Diego Chargers in a 38-28 win at Heinz Field.
Mendenhall started the game with Willie Parker sidelined with a turf toe and responded to all of the challenges with 29 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
"That was pretty cool. It's definitely an honor," said Mendenhall of winning the weekly award. "It's a credit to the offense and the offensive line, the performance we put in as an offense was a great performance."
Don't expect him to think that one good performance is enough, though. He knows he has to keep it going.
"That's one game, it's over now," said Mendenhall. "It was exciting but we have another opponent on Sunday, another work week."
The Steelers returned to practice on Wednesday and there is no official word as to whether Mendenhall will start again this week, or if Parker will be healthy enough to return to the field.
"I don't really know. I don't know at all," said Mendenhall. "As the week goes on we'll see what happens with Willie. I am sure that decision will be made closer to game time."
And while he would like to have Parker back healthy, he doesn't mind getting some extra carries.
"You are a competitor. You want to play," said Mendenhall. "You want an opportunity."
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Running back Isaac Redman was re-signed to the practice squad. Redman was added to the active roster on Saturday with Parker out of the lineup and Nick Eason was released. Eason was re-signed on Monday, and Redman let go from the active roster.
Mendenhall is also nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. Click to Vote For Mendenhall for the honor.