View Full Version : Mendenhall way ahead of schedule with rehab

Mister Pittsburgh
02-20-2009, 08:55 AM

Steelers Notebook: Rookie way ahead on shoulder rehab
Friday, February 20, 2009
By Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
INDIANAPOLIS -- Rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall has recovered so well from a broken shoulder blade that he could have played the final month of the regular season and into the postseason if he hadn't been placed on injured reserve, said director of football operations Kevin Colbert.

Mendenhall, the team's No. 1 draft pick, was injured in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens when he was tackled by linebacker Ray Lewis. Mendenhall did not have surgery. Such an injury is more associated with car accidents than football games.

"He's way ahead on his rehab," Colbert said. "He looks good at this point and all the medical reports indicate he'll have a full recovery."

There have been instances where the Steelers have kept other injured players on the 53-man roster for an extended period, hoping they could return late in the season or for the playoffs. A most recent example is tackle Marvel Smith, who missed the final 11 games of the regular season with a back injury but wasn't placed on injured reserve until Dec. 23.

"He could have come back late in the year, but, at that point, we didn't think we could afford to carry him," Colbert said of Mendenhall. "I remember talking about that, saying it's a possibility. But it becomes a luxury when trying to deal with 53 active players.

"If it's a veteran guy, like the Steelers did with Rod Woodson that Super Bowl year (1995), they kept him alive for the whole year because he's Rod Woodson, first of all, and he knew what to do. And he was going to be able to come back and play like he did. This year, we carried Marvel as long as we could until we got to that point when we needed that spot."

Excessive celebration

The issue over whether Santonio Holmes should have been penalized 15 yards for celebrating -- after a significant pause -- his winning touchdown reception in the Super Bowl might grow now that he has been fined $10,000 by the NFL.

Holmes was not flagged by the officials after it occurred because they apparently did not see it. He impersonated a move by basketball's LeBron James when he shook the football and tossed it into the air. But he did not do it immediately after he caught the winning touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds left. The 6-yard touchdown pass gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said during the week after the game that the celebration should have drawn a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. Those kinds of celebrations automatically draw a $10,000 fine, and an NFL source confirmed that is what Holmes received.

But celebrations such as Holmes', which occur significantly after the play and away from the field, might become legal if commissioner Roger Goodell has anything to do with it. Goodellbelieves the competition committee should reconsider such late celebrations.

"It's my understanding that it happened about 15 seconds after the play," Goodell said at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, "so I think that's something the competition committee is going to have to look it -- is there a period of time where it really doesn't have the same impact that it would if it was done immediately?

"As you know, part of this rule is to avoid having a reaction from opposing players, and from what I could see, only seeing it once, it didn't seem like it was anywhere near that."

Conditioning coach honored

The Steelers did not stop winning awards with their sixth Lombardi Trophy.

Even their strength coach has risen to the top of his profession. Garrett Giemont was named the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year for the second time. He previously earned that award in 2002 when he was with the Oakland Raiders. He joined the Steelers as part of Mike Tomlin'sstaff in 2007.

First published on February 20, 2009 at 12:08 am

02-20-2009, 09:28 AM
I was wondering why the put him on IR so soon... I guess its all good since won the SB, but I was thinking that there was a possiblilty he could come back and that they should have waited a week or so to make that determination.

stlrz d
02-20-2009, 10:56 AM
This is great news!

02-20-2009, 11:40 AM
The kid was only 20 when draft. He is still youngerthan guys in this year's draft.

He will be a beast next year and the main man by midseason.

02-20-2009, 12:21 PM
The NFL needs to modify it's IR policy. Too often players can come back but aren't allowed to. I don't know the solution to it but I believe I read somewhere they might consider doing something with the policy or at least discuss it.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-20-2009, 01:23 PM
Indeed this is good news. Lets hope during his rehab he worked on building up those forarms so he can cradle the ball a little tighter and not cough it up so much.