Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Injured Steelers backs take cue from coach

By Jamison Hensley

No one knows whether Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer or Rashard Mendenhall will be the Steelers' featured running back Sunday against the New York Jets. The one certainty is that all take their direction from running-backs coach Kirby Wilson, who will be on the sideline for his first regular-season game at Heinz Field since being injured in a house fire in January.

Kirby Wilson
Kirby Wilson, seen here during training camp, suffered severe burns during a January house fire.
Wilson was burned on 45 percent of his body and spent two months in the hospital recovering from his injuries. When training camp began, Wilson was back yelling instructions to his players and even ran with them from drill to drill.

He has been overseeing one of the most banged-up groups on the team. Mendenhall, the team's leading rusher, returned to full practice after having surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament. Redman has had to deal with a hip injury, but he's no longer on the injury report. And Dwyer came back to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a foot injury.

While the road to recovery for these backs no way compares to what their coach had to endure, Wilson serves as the perfect role model for perseverance.