While it’s a given that the Pittsburgh Steelers will have running backs Le’Veon Bell and James Conner on their 53-man roster this year, it’s likely still up in the air as to whether Knile Davis or Fitzgerald Toussaint will round out the depth chart at that position should only three in total ultimately be kept.
While Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert didn’t tip his hand as to which one of those two other running backs might have the best shot at making the final roster during his Friday night interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, he did give his thoughts on both players.
“Knile comes over and so far, so good,” Colbert said of the veteran offseason free agent addition. “I mean, he’s a big guy that has very good straight-line speed and he looks like advertised. And it was an opportunity to add a guy in free agency and something we could afford from a cap standpoint.”
While Colbert didn’t say much about Davis, he talked extensively about Toussaint, who spent all of the 2016 season on the 53-man roster.
“Unfortunately with Le’Veon, we’ve had to go to our depth deeper into the season, so a guy like Fitz did what he could,” Colbert started. “The poor kid fumbled against Denver in the playoff game and it really turned the game in our disfavor and it was just he got a little careless and got the ball poked out. And he’s had to live through that, but to his credit, he’s a very mentally-tough kid that works through it.
“And early in camp, not yesterday, the day before, he had a really good day and it was good to see him not wilting under the pressure of a franchise runner, an unrestricted free agent and third-round pick, who’s been added to the mix and he’s in there fighting. And that’s what you like about that kid, because he’s not the biggest, he’s not the fastest, but boy, his heart and want-to is there. So, that’s why hes been able to survive and help.”
With four preseason games yet to be played, it will be interesting to see how the battle between Davis and Toussaint ultimately shakes out. Davis, as most already know, will really be expected to shine as a kick returner during the preseason in addition to showing he can be a capable and dependable backup running back option. Toussaint, on the other hand, better show that he can hold onto the football during the preseason as it’s clear Colbert still vividly remembers his fumble in the Divisional Round playoff game against the Denver Broncos a few seasons ago.