GM Kevin Colbert also noted that RB Rashard Mendenhall, who tore his ACL late in the 2011 season, is likely to start 2012 on the PUP list.
Why does that matter? Why should we care about Mendenhall?
Mendenhall put points on the board for the Steelers against the Bengals. He scored four touchdowns, two in each game -- the same amount that Ray Rice scored against the Bengals in 2011. He didn't have the same amount of yards that Rice did against the Bengals (Rice had a total of 346 yards against Cincinnati while Mendenhall had 105), but that didn't matter. What mattered is they each were responsible for a total of 28 points against the Bengals in the 2011 season. Together, for you mathematicians, that's 56 points. That accounts for 17 percent of the total points the Bengals allowed in 2011.
Mendenhall may not be the most talented back the Bengals faced in 2011 but he scored touchdowns like one. Of course there were other factors -- the loss of Pat Sims, the inconsistent play of Rey Maualuga and more -- but one of the reasons is because Mendenhall has nose for the end zone.
We know the Bengals will play the Steelers twice in 2012, we just don't know when they'll play them. If Mendenhall is still on the PUP list when the two teams take the same field, the Bengals could catch a break. Of course the Steelers will probably have a good running back waiting in the wings so it may not matter, but, at least for now, the thought of facing Mendenhall less than two times in 2012 is a happy thought.