Report: Steelers Bypassed Eddie Lacy Because Of Big Toe Problem

A Pittsburgh Steelers team source reportedly told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the team “wouldn\’t touch” former Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the 2013 NFL draft because his big toe “had been fused.”

This news makes the Steelers decision to draft Michigan State running back Le\’Veon Bell over Lacy, who had surgery last offseason to repair a turf-toe problem that had bothered him for a while, a little more understandable. Lacy wound up being the fourth overall running back selected in draft when the Green Bay Packers took him with the 61st overall selection later in round two.

The Steelers no doubt did their due diligence with Lacy and even had him in for a pre draft visit, presumably to check out his big toe. The former Alabama running back did, however, manage to play in 14 games last season and rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns on 204 carries.

As I mentioned in previous post, a large selection of the Steelers fan base will forever measure Bell against Lacy from this day forward, but you can clearly see why the Steelers chose to go with Bell over Lacy and why the latter of the two fell way out of the first round after being considered to be the best running back in the 2013 draft class.

  • steeltown

    Big toe.. and the fact that Le’veon’s production came with a mediocre OL on a less than stellar Team that had just lost a lot of players the year prior… he still produced

  • Michael Mazanowski

    I agree! Plus, Bell has the vision to excel in a zone-based scheme.

  • Mike.H

    I recently told a fellow Steelers fan, our games have become BORING to watch due to our running game having NO identity (2.5 yds per run, duh):

    I said I longed for Jerome Bettis days than the current run of the mill 5’10” guys who end up with 650 yds a season. Viola! one NFL draft weekend later…
    things ma-may be cha-changing!

  • TJimmy

    With the way the Steelers have been plagued by running back injuries, and Lacy’s injury problems already in college behind a good Oline, I agree with the selection of Bell, who has been injury-free in spite of a lot of carries and a sub-par line..

    They don’t just need a good back, they need one that is durable. The best running back in the world is worthless sitting on the sidelines.

  • ..and a pretty nice jump cut that breaks defenders ankles.

  • steeltown

    Was going to say that.. if you notice almost all of the draft picks this year have been guys that are and have been completely healthy.. obviously Jarvis Jones has his medical issue, but for the most part from Bell to Wheaton to Landy Jones to Shark Thomas (besides concussions) these guys are and have been healthy and have been very durable

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Also his plain Jump that gets him over players

  • Pete

    The OL. The OL. When Bettis was churning out 1400+ yd seasons, look at who he was running behind. Same with Willie Parker. Look at the line in 2008 when Parker barely got 700+ yds (yeah he did miss time because of injuries too). It was the defense that carried the team to the SB in 2008. The new line we have will improve in time and whoever is running behind it will benefit. Dwyer and Redman are both good backs. This OL is going to make the backs look good. Batch will be gone and maybe one of Redman or Dwyer. But I hope they can keep both Redman and Dwyer assuming Bell is successful.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I could average 5 yards a carry last year behind Alabama’s line…I found it so funny to watch his highlights showing him run through gapping holes to show how good he was. DUH.

  • Amuzon12

    I am a bit confused how spinal stenosis is an acceptable trade off for acquiring Jarvis Jones while a fused toe was a hands off, no-go for Eddie Lacy. I am just trying to make sense of it. No knock on any of the players. I am looking forward to watching both Jones and Bell in the black and gold!

  • Ha Ha! Yeah true but I hope he keeps his feet on the ground in the NFL. That will get you hurt in a hurry.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Very perceptive Steeler nation. Mr Bell will be thrust into the starting lineup baring anything weird happening. I think Redman would be gone before Dwyer especially since Dwyer has picked up his work ethic and peels off 5 to 10 yard runs pretty easily. I’m excited about the running back situation now. I see Dwyer giving Bell a breather and running 10 to 15 times a game.

  • CP21

    My mother could have run behind the Alabama O line. Beside injuries to the big toe are serious and nothing to ignore. Long time Steeler fans will remember it was a big toe injury that ended Jack Lambert’s career. And really, is Lacy better than Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson…2 previous ‘Bama backs selected in the 1st round? And they haven’t set the league on fire. Bell is a perfect fit for the Steelers and he can catch the ball out of the backfield really well.