Ed Bouchette reports via Twitter that the right knee injury suffered by Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall yesterday against the Cleveland Browns on a first half run is indeed a torn ACL and he will be lost for the rest of the playoffs. Bouchette reports that the good news is that there is no other damage in the knee and that Mendenhall will have surgery to repair the torn ACL over the next couple of weeks, presumably after the swelling goes down.
The injury happened on on the last play of the first quarter as Mendenhall attempted to plant his right leg and cut back inside on a run to the right. Mendenhall dropped almost immediately and grabbed for the knee. Head coach Mike Tomlin feared it was a torn ACL following the game, but the team wanted to get the knee examined again today after traveling back from Cleveland.
Mendenhall has one year remaining on his rookie contract and the rehab will likely take anywhere from 6-9 months. He will likely miss all of the offseason mini-camps and OTA sessions and could be a candidate to open the Steelers 2012 training camp on the active PUP list. If he is not ready by the team the season starts, he might be placed on reserve PUP list to start the 2012 season.
The Steelers will make the roster move official on Tuesday by placing Mendenhall on injured reserve and signing defensive back Anthony Madison to the 53 man roster to fill the spot.