With Parker Doubtful, Is Mendenhall Ready To Shoulder The Load?

for NFLSportChannel.com

Published: October 2, 2009

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... seven games since being drafted in the first round last year by the Steelers.

Last week, his personal stock took yet another hit when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin effectively benched him for failing to prepare effectively and practice professionally before the team's game against the rival Cincinnati Bengals.

Now, with Willie Parker suffering from an untimely case of turf toe, Tomlin may have no other choice but to insert Mendenhall into the Steelers' backfield.

But is he ready?

The biggest problem with analyzing Mendenhall is that he has only played in seven games since being drafted. There's too small a sample size to really gauge his effectiveness in games that count.

Mendenhall has also had two rather pedestrian training camps, this year's being worse than last year's. That makes the Steelers wary of playing him.

But Mendenhall has shown flashes of what made him a high draft pick. Most recently, he ripped off a 39 yard run against a stout C...

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Article Source: BleacherReport.com