Three and out: Mendenhall to start for Steelers

Steelers shuffle RB rotation: Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is not only returning to the field, he’s apparently returning to his starting job against the Jaguars. Last week was Pittsburgh’s most productive on the ground, even though it was Isaac Redman doing most of the damage. With Mendenhall back, Redman is back to his spot as the team’s No. 2 running back and not worth a play against a Jacksonville defense that is allowing less than 15 fantasy points a game to running backs. For that matter, Mendenhall looks like a flex play at best.

Green-Ellis back at practice: After missing the past couple of days, Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was back at practice on Friday. That bodes well for his playing status on Sunday, even if nothing is certain. It also throws into doubt the question of what happens to Stevan Ridley. And if matters weren’t complicated enough, Danny Woodhead returned to practice on Wednesday and could also be active against the Cowboys this week. Dallas has allowed the second fewest fantasy points to running backs, and with so many rushing options for Bill Belichick to turn to — oh and still having Tom Brady and Wes Welker on the roster — start the Law Firm or Ridley at your own risk.

Thomas plans Monday night return: Rookie running back Daniel Thomas hasn’t played for the Miami Dolphins since Week 3, but he believes his balky hamstring is good enough for him to get back on the field against the Jets this week. In Thomas’ absence, Reggie Bush has done little of note, rushing for 63 yards on 23 carries while catching just 3 passes for 27 yards — and no touchdowns. With Gang Green being quite porous against the run, it will be a welcome sight for Thomas to be back on the field. He’s worth a start in most leagues.

– Marcas Grant

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