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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Rashard Mendenhall skipped game

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall's one-game team suspension is for not attending this past Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, according to multiple sources.

Mendenhall found out late last week he was going to be inactive, according to the sources, so he didn't go to the game.

The sources indicated that Mendenhall met with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after Sunday's 34-24 loss to San Diego and will be considered in the running back mix for Pittsburgh's remaining games and the playoffs.

Mendenhall did not have a confrontation with coaches or any negative discussions about his diminished playing time, the sources said. But by not showing up at the game, he left himself vulnerable to a team sanction.

The Steelers (7-6) head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys this week and hold the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

Pittsburgh's leading rusher for the past three seasons, Mendenhall is expected to be with the Steelers on Monday in preparation for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mendenhall has been inactive for the past two games since fumbling twice on four carries in Cleveland. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Mendenhall also has been slowed this season by injuries. He tore the ACL in his right knee in Week 17 last season and didn't return until Oct. 4 this year. His return didn't last long, though, as he strained his right Achilles four days later.

Mendenhall's recent injury history has allowed for increased production out of Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and even rookie Chris Rainey.

ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.