Pittsburgh Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall has been sidelined since January with a torn ACL, and it was widely expected that he would miss the first six games of the regular season, if not more. Today, Mark Kaboly reports that both he and NT Casey Hampton have been activated from the PUP. There is no word on when either will report to camp.
Analysis: This is a surprising turn of events after everything we've heard the past month. The Steelers were expected to split the running duties between Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer while Mendenhall sat out, but with him coming back ahead of schedule, they have some interesting decisions to make. Even with this good news, don't expect Mendenhall to return to carry your fantasy team. He's been in a slow decline throughout 2011, and there's no telling how much the ACL injury affects his speed and cut abilities. Keep a close eye on him in the rest of preseason.