It has been a bumpy year for Pittsburgh Steelers' running back Rashard Mendenhall.
Mendenhall, 25, is a fourth-year player who the Steelers drafted in 2008 with the 23rd overall pick.
Injuries, and wrongful tweets are nothing new to the player, however being suspended by the Pittsburgh Steelers organization is.
Starting off the year with an ACL tear, Rashard missed the first four weeks of the season.
He returned in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles showing some promise. Mendenhall rushed for 68 yards on 13 carries and hauled in three receptions for 33 yards. Things got difficult again when he only rushed for six yards against the Tennessee Titans before suffering an Achilles injury that would sideline him for four more games.
Posting mediocre numbers against the Baltimore Ravens, and then fumbling twice against the Cleveland Browns left him at the bottom of the depth chart.
It started to seem that head coach Mike Tomlin had finally had enough. He put Rashard Mendenhall third on the depth chart before the second Baltimore Ravens game, in which he did not see the field. This brings us to Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers when coach Tomlin announced the actives and inactives for the game.
Mendenhall received word that he was going to be inactive again for the game against the Chargers. He then failed to show up to Heinz Field for the game. Word broke late Tuesday that Rashard Mendenhall had been suspended for one game for "conduct detrimental to the team".
He will serve that suspension this week when the team travels to Texas to take on the 7-6 Dallas Cowboys.
This looks to be the end of the road for Rashard Mendenhall's time in Pittsburgh. He has underachieved for most of his career only posting two 1,000-yard seasons in his five years. It's also a contract year and his try out for a new contract has consisted of:
- Two injuries
- Tweets that made the organization look bad
- One suspension
- Demoted to 3rd on depth chart
- Inactive twice through Week 14 (most likely more to come)
- 113 yards total in the 2012 season
Unless Mendenhall is willing to come back for virtually nothing his return for next year looks bleak. With only two good seasons on his resume and a recent decline, many teams will be approaching him with extra caution. Don't expect to see teams lining up outside Rashard Mendenhall's door to get him signed.