The Steelers didn’t expect running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) to return until well into the season. Yet he practiced Monday, and coach Mike Tomlin isn’t ruling him out of the season opener Sunday in Denver, Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Mendenhall tore an ACL in the final 2011 regular season game in Cleveland.

Isaac Redman, expected to fill in for Mendenhall, is still battling an ankle injury, and his status is uncertain.

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