While it’s been just a little more than two months since the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, running back Fitzgerald Toussaint admitted recently that he is still trying to get over his fourth quarter fumble in that game.
“Fumbling is not what I do. I never had a problem with that,” Toussaint recently told Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “For that to happen, to a team like this that worked so hard, that’s what I was disappointed about. It was never personal. It was never about me, or anything, it was about the team. I let the team down. I didn’t care about anything else. I knew how hard Coach (Mike) Tomlin worked for this.”
Toussaint’s fumble, which took place on second down play from the Broncos 34-yard line with exactly 10 minutes remaining in the game and the Steelers holding a 13-12 lead, was indeed a huge turning point in the game. In fact, had he not fumbled, his run more than likely would have resulted in another first down and then potentially more points for Pittsburgh.
Instead, the Broncos proceeded to drive 65 yards on 13 plays for a go-ahead touchdown and they followed that up with a two-point conversion. The Steelers offense couldn’t answer that score until well after the Broncos had tacked on another 3 points with 57 seconds left in the game.
While Toussaint’s fumble did play a role in the Steelers loss, the team’s defense certainly didn’t do their part in stopping the Broncos offense following the turnover. After all, it’s not like they didn’t have a lot of grass to defend.
Up until he fumbled against the Broncos, Toussaint really did play well following his promotion from the team’s practice squad in late November. In fact, the former undrafted free agent of the Baltimore Ravens produced 201 yards from scrimmage for the Steelers while helping filling in for injured running back DeAngelo Williams.
While it’s understandable for Toussaint to still be somewhat upset about his fumble, he needs to put him behind him once and for all as he could still potentially be an asset to the Steelers moving forward and especially if starting running back Le’Veon Bell is not fully recovered from the knee injury that he suffered last year by the start of the 2016 regular season.
Even if Bell is ready to play by Week 1, Toussaint can still make the Steelers final 53-man roster as the team’s third-string running back and especially now that Jordan Todman is no longer with the team.
Toussaint revealed to Varley that the support he’s received from his family and Steeler teammates is helping get over his post-season misfortune and in addition to that, he’s giving every appearance that his fumble will be a distant memory in the very near future.
“I am a new guy. I am new to all of this. I am trying to make a mark here and I got in the way a little bit with that situation, Toussaint told Varley. “I feel like I owed them something. I have something to prove. They might not feel like that, but I feel like that. Any work I put in is going to be towards fixing that situation and not letting it happen again.”