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Updated Sep 3, 2013 - 8:23 am

Rashard Mendenhall 'more than ready' for Arizona Cardinals' season opener

Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (28) runs against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians held running back Rashard Mendenhall out of practice Monday.

But that doesn't mean the newly-acquired running back won't play in the team's season opener Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. In fact, it's just the opposite.

"Rashard, I didn't let him go today, but he's more than ready," Arians announced after Monday's practice. "And Ryan (Williams) is full speed, so we're fully healthy at running back."

Mendenhall, who signed in the offseason as a free agent from Pittsburgh, ran well in the preseason, gaining 79 yards on 13 carries (6.1 yards per attempt). But he did leave the Cardinals' third preseason game against San Diego with what was described as "looseness" in his right knee.

The six-year veteran underwent an MRI following the San Diego game, but it came back negative.

Mendenhall ran for just 182 yards on 51 carries in an injury-plagued season for Pittsburgh in 2012. In five seasons with the Steelers, he ran for 3,549 yards on 864 carries while scoring 29 touchdowns.

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