Steelers GM Kevin Colbert told Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he won't be surprised if NT Casey Hampton and RB Rashard Mendenhall both began the 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list.
Both players are recovering from torn ACLs that occurred late last season and the two players just started working out again.
Hampton, a five-time Pro Bowler, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the Steelers' wild-card playoff loss at Denver. Mendenhall, who has scored 30 touchdowns the past three seasons as a starter, tore the ACL in his right knee at Cleveland in Week 17.
“My guess is they’ll open the season on PUP (the physically unable to perform list),” Colbert told the paper. “You’ve got to remember both of those injuries happened late in the year.”
Both players are in the final year of their contracts. If placed on the PUP list, they wouldn’t be eligible to play until after the Steelers’ sixth game.