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Turf Toe = No Go for Willie Parker | NFL Fantasy Football Rankings

Pittsburgh Steelers v Chicago Bears

The Steelers veteran running back Willie Parker has missed the past two weeks with a nasty turf toe injury. Parker finally came back to practice this week but had to wear a special shoe just to participate.

On Thursday, Parker’s backup Rashard Mendenhall missed practice with flu like symptoms that had some wondering if he would miss this week’s game.

The very next day Mendenhall came back to a full practice, and it is now looking like he will be the starter on Sunday.

Is Parker Still the Top Runner in Pittsburgh?

In the past two week’s Mendenhall has given the Steelers quality production on the ground. If Mendenhall does start and puts together another strong performance, one has to question if he is now the lead man in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Detroit Lions

Not only has Mendenhall had solid numbers running, but he’s also done a great job in pass protection.

Even if Parker should find a way to take the starting job back, I would expect the Steelers to continue to use Mendenhall as the goal line back. In the past two weeks Mendenhall has three touchdowns and should of had a fourth, but it was called back on a holding penalty.

Since the Mike Tomlin era began in 2007, Parker has only amassed a measly eight touchdowns in 29 games.

Understanding this lack of production in recent years, it is very easy to see that Mendenhall would make a better fit.

Fast Willie Parker?

Parker made his name in the NFL being the speed runner in the Steelers pound it out offense. Even before the turf toe injury, it was easy to see that Parker was not the speedster, he once was.

Not only will Parker lose more speed with the turf toe problem, but he will have a very hard time making cuts on the toe.

If he were a big physical runner than he might have stood a better chance to have success. With turf toe, you can still run straight ahead but not laterally.

Fantasy Football Information for the Steelers Running Backs

Pittsburgh Steelers v Chicago Bears

Look for Mendenhall to continue his charge towards becoming the true No.1 running back in Pittsburgh. Even if Parker can some how play effectively on the toe, he will lose out on red zone touchdowns.

From a fantasy football perspective Mendenhall will not only get the touchdowns but should at least get around 15 touches a week. If Parker should miss more time (may vary well happen) during the season, then Mendenhall will be the feature back.

In the end, Mendenhall is now his way to a nice year for fantasy football owners and should have over 10 touchdowns on the season.

NFL Fantasy Football Information writer Sean E. Douglas:

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