Rashard Mendenhall Returns to Practice, Minus Knee Brace

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall was a full participant in practice today, a little over eight months after suffering an ACL tear during Week 17 of the 2011 season back on New Year’s Day.  Word is, he took the practice field without the protection of a knee brace.  If this is true, and all the reports of teammates saying he’s exhibiting as much burst and explosion as his pre-ACL tear days, this recovery should be considered nothing short of miraculous.  Fantasy owners shouldn’t go running to insert him into their starting lineups, however.  Mendenhall was originally said to be a candidate for the physically unable to perform list, which means he would have been forced to miss to season’s first six weeks.  Let these first few games serve as an evaluation period.  You have to be sure that Mendenhall can handle the workload before you call yourself depending on his production.

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