Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is slowly getting out of coach Mike Tomlin's doghouse.
Mendenhall will be active for Sunday's game against the Bengals, but his participation will depend on the flow of the game, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. He has averaged 50.8 yards rushing in six games against Cincinnati.
This will be the first time that Mendenhall will suit up since Nov. 25 in Cleveland, where he fumbled twice on four carries. Mendenhall, the team's leading rusher for the previous three seasons, was inactive for the next two games and was suspended last Sunday when he failed to show up for the Dec. 9 game at Heinz Field.
Tomlin described Mendenhall as being frustrated. "I wouldn't use that word," Mendenhall told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about his reasons for not attending the game. "There's a lot of thought that goes into everything that I do."
There is a chance that Mendenhall, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, will remain with the Steelers. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last Sunday that Mendenhall and the Steelers are communicating and committing to meaningful contractual conversation.