The Steelers activated Rashard Mendenhall and Casey Hampton from the PUP list on Friday, but Mendy may not be ready till a few weeks into the 2012 season.

The move with Mendenhall came as a surprise because as recently as last week, general manager Kevin Colbert said he thought he would open the season on the PUP. Obviously, things changed.

“The trainers felt that he had progressed as far as he could in doing what they were doing,” Colbert told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “and the kid felt confident that he was ready to take the next step. Now, the next step is being able to practice, and where that leads to nobody knows at this point.”

It is unlikely he will be ready to play in September, but, by doing this, he could be ready to play much sooner than if he had to open on PUP.

“If you go on PUP, you’re out for six weeks, minimum,” Colbert explained. “You can still only continue that same work. So, he felt he was beyond that, the trainers felt he was beyond that, so it was time to take that next step.

“Now whether he plays in those first six weeks we don’t know, but, obviously, we feel there’s a chance that could happen. Be it Week 5 or Week 6, that could be a difference.”

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