It’s now been six-and-a-half months since Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint fumbled with 10 minutes left in the Divisional Round playoff game against the Denver Broncos and it still bothers him to this day, and at nights as well.
In a recent training camp interview on Steelers Nation Radio, Toussaint was asked about the turnover that took place on a 2nd and 4 play from the Broncos 34-yard-line with the Steelers leading by a point and he admitted it still causes him to have some restless nights.
“It’s something you can never get over most definitely,” said Toussaint, who rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries in the Steelers two playoff games. “I still lose sleep over that and that’s just going to make me better as a football player to protect the ball even more and just basically going out there and doing what’s right for the team. It’s never about me, it’s about the team and the situations if I’m in I put the team in.
Is Toussaint literally still losing sleep over that fumble, or is that just hyperbole?
“It’s definitely knowing that I let down the fans, you never want to do that for sure and that’s definitely bad on myself knowing that I don’t fumble as a football player,” Toussaint said. “It’s just something that I think about every night.”
Toussaint was then asked by Tim Benz how he was treated by the fans after fumbling against the Broncos and if it was as harsh as he thought it would be. The Michigan product then had a very long and what sounded like an awkward pause before replying.
“No, not really,” he said. “The Steelers have a big fan base and the majority of the fans represented me and they supported me throughout the whole situation. I can count on my fingers how many times somebody said something negative about me and I just let that blow by and focus on what people good got to say.”
While it’s sad that Toussaint received any harsh treatment from the fan base following his fumble, it’s something that comes with the territory of being a professional player. While he’ll likely never really ever forget about that play, he might have a chance to right that wrong this season being as starting running back Le’Veon Bell is currently facing a four-game suspension for reportedly violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Should Bell’s suspension wind up standing following his August appeal, veteran DeAngelo Williams will undoubtedly start in his place. Should that ultimately be the case, Williams will more than likely be spelled occasionally during games and thus Toussaint could be the one who does that if he can win the No. 3 spot during training camp and the team’s four preseason games.
The last thing that Toussaint needs to do right now is lose sleep during training camp as he’s not guaranteed a roster spot. He should, however, focus during the day on not losing any more footballs during practices and the preseason. If he does that, he should ultimately make the team this year and thus get an opportunity to add another chapter to his young career which hopefully includes a few memorable runs that will produce sweet dreams and accolades from the fan base.