Running back Rashard Mendenhall was back on the practice field on Wednesday after serving a one-game suspension. Mendenhall spoke to the media following practice.
Is it nice to be back at practice?
Have you talked to your teammates about what happened?
No, not really. I talk to these guys every day.
Why didn’t you show up for the Chargers game?
I’m really not trying to get back into that.
How do you feel about being back?
It’s good to be back.
You weren’t dressed the last few games, do you feel you will this week?
I don’t know what is going to happen, I just take it day by day.
Have your teammates been supportive?
Yeah, they are my friends. They are my teammates. I talk to them all of the time so nothing has changed.
How do you feel physically and if they ask you to carry the ball on Sunday how is it going to go?
I have felt great this whole time. I have worked this whole time. I am ready for whatever I am called to do.
Do you feel as good as you have been? Are you over the Achilles stuff and feel like you did when you played against the Eagles?
I felt like I have gotten better every week since then and I am just continuing to do that.
Has this been a nightmare season for you?
No, not at all. I can see why it appears to be that on the outside, but no, not at all. Nothing has changed this year for me the way I work, the way that I prepare and the way that I grow. It’s been that same thing. Outside circumstances have been different, but for me it hasn’t been that at all.
Coach (Mike) Tomlin said you would have a chance to redeem yourself. Do you think that is still the case?
I don’t know the decisions up there and how they are made. For me, from the day I got here I just continue to work as hard as I can and do everything I can. With that I am okay and happy. I can look at that and be pleased with that. I will just continue to work and whatever happens, whatever opportunities are in front of me, they will show themselves.
Coach Tomlin said there was some frustration on your part. Is that with the injuries, the inactives or what?
I wouldn’t use that word. There is a lot of thought that goes into anything I do. For me, I am just back and taking it a day at a time.
Do you look forward to a chance to redeem yourself and help this team make the playoffs?
I don’t know what chances or opportunities I will get, but I just want to continue to work every day and offer whatever I can.
What was the reason you didn’t show up?
I am not really going into that. I am just continuing to work every day like I always have been and continuing to grow.