Steelers RB Fitzgerald Toussaint Still Trying To Move On From Playoff Fumble

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.”

  • Xclewsive

    Bigger fumble Merril Hoge, Rashard Mendenhall or Fitzgerald Toussaint?

  • William Weaver

    Don’t feel alone Fitz, we are still trying to get over it too!! Lol

  • alevin16

    Was Hoge a big fumbler? I don’t remember that he was…although I am having more and more senior moments 😀

  • PittsburghSports

    When was the Hoge fumble? I can’t imagine it was as big as Mendenhall’s either way. I’d put Fitz right behind that.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Mendenhall. We win that title if that fumble doesn’t happen.

  • Xclewsive

    My bad it wasn’t a playoff game Hoge fumble it was a loss to the Browns.

  • PittsburghSports

    I was thinking the ’89 Broncos loss in the playoffs on 3rd down when Brister fumbled the low snap, and Hoge tried to pick it up and run instead of falling on it, but hard to blame him for that. Biggest mistakes are always on the biggest stage though, to answer your question.

  • JM_3

    I really like Fitz. He’s a solid asset for our team, let’s just hope he doesn’t have to play as much this season lol

  • Tom Jackson

    Well Mendenhall definitly over Fitz I tell you that much. That was the F’ing biggest game of the year. Lost by 6 points and he lost that baby on their side of the field. It was so huge. Without the Fitz fumble we still would’ve had to beat the pats on the road.

  • Nwall2

    I was mad but I honestly wasn’t pissed at the kid when it happened. Mistakes happen and that was a big stage for such a young kid.

    It’s probably not necessary for NFL running backs/other skilled position players to hear it, but I would have hoped Fitz’s teammates were saying to hold on to the ball at that point in the game. It doesn’t hurt to blurt that out from time to time, especially in a playoff game and for a kid who is so young.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    The defence was gassed at that point so the fact they went 65 yards is not his fault. However, they almost pulled the ball out of his hands earlier in the game when he had a good run down to about the 2 yard line. Maybe he has small hands?, he’s not a big guy.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Mendys. In a Superbowl and a momentum killer.

  • StillersInThe6

    was far more upset with our conservative game plan after going up, than this kid. he filled in more than admirably when looking at his entire body of work. i believe it was also him that made a ridiculous catch (for a runningback) to keep the game winning drive alive against the Bengals. imo he hardly shoulders any of the blame for our ‘earlier-than-hoped’ exit.

  • SmellyHobo

    That playoff game was one of the few loses that left me without being mad or outraged.The game planning was solid. None of the judgement calls by Tomlin were egregious. (that team dismantled a 15-1 team on a neutral field) It’s really hard to fault a kid who wasn’t even on a team most of the season for fumbling on a great play by the Bronco player.

  • Steel Your Face

    Looking forward to seeing him in camp.

  • rystorm06

    Mendenhall’s fumble was a killer but I don’t put the blame 100% on mendy. If Rollerskates Jonathan Scott didn’t whiff on his block, clay matthews wouldn’t have gotten a free shot. The hit literally happened right after the exchange, hard to not fumble in that scenario

  • walter mason

    absolutely. i said the same thing. its easy to get excited driving for the win. We were ramming it down their throat. But i thought todman might fumble. This was so unusual for Fitz to carry the ball so far away from his chest. i think he just got excited and forgot to protect the ball. yes i would have hoped teammates would have reminded him in that situation.

  • walter mason

    As far as i recall, he was carrying the ball very loosely. i cant understand it. I saw the fumble before it happened. It was there for the taking.

  • walter mason

    i hear you but it wasnt a great play by a Broncos player. The ball was there for the taking. But i agree with the rest. I actually saw the fumble before it happened.

  • pittfan

    WE were behind when Mendy fumbled and frankly, lucky to be in the game. Packers dropped so many open passes it could have been worse. We were ahead and going for the kill shot when Fitz fumbled. That said, Mendy’s was in the Big Game whereas Fitz’s was not. I guess you gotta go with Mendy’s.

  • 6 ring circus

    And more determined than ever. I bet he makes the 53.

  • At the time man hold on to the got damn ball. Now hey it’s cool

  • thehugster

    The Steelers running back play was one of the most pleasant surprises this past year. Couldn’t believe he just came off the practice squad when he played that playoff game. Bell, Deangelo and he make it the only position group on the Steelers that won’t necessitate draft consideration

  • justafanlikeyou

    The worst thing about Fitz’s fumble was how it happened. The defense really had controlled the bronco offense the whole game. The Steelers were driving and at the least were looking to force the broncos to score a TD.
    On Fit’s run IIRC the WR had the outside db sealed giving a lane in the middle of the field with another db bearing down at that point. It Fitz’s just lowers his shoulder at worst it is a 1st down and at the cusp of field goal range right there, potentially he breaks that tackle and he may score. Instead he tried to bounce it outside, right into the defender who was blocked who just got an arm on the ball knocking it free.

  • John C

    Mendenhall by far!!! We win a Superbowl if he didn’t fumble…..Fitz’s fumble…oh well….we shouldn’t even have been where we were last year….top 2 RB’s down….Mendenhall was a supposed to be a top RB that year! Nobody even knew who Fitz was at the start of the season!!!

  • Steel PAul

    Easily seems like two years in a row that Bell being out of the playoffs causes the Steelers to lose the games. He doesn’t fumble on that play and the Steelers likely win.

  • popsiclesticks

    Clay Matthews knew the play was coming. I don’t think Jon Scott was supposed to be blocking the end on that play.

  • popsiclesticks

    Sure, the Packers should have been up by 10. But they weren’t. I’m going Mendenhall as well.

  • Peter Land

    Earnest Byner is the correct answer

  • William Weaver

    Very loose with it. That is what bothers me the most. It wasn’t a big hit or a great strip, it was carelessness. Maybe he doesn’t have a history of fumbles but to me that doesn’t matter. His biggest moment as a football player might have been too big for him to think about controlling what he can control. Nothing personal but with DWill a year older and the unfortunate injury history of Bell, I really hope we find a better 3rd back. Draft on if you need to.

  • davidf412

    OK so Fitz fumbled and he was holding the ball rather loose but, DHB’s block on Bradley Roby was not very good. DHB is 6-2″ 219, Roby’s is 5-11″ 194. DHB should have done better on that block.
    Look at the tape horrible block he totally whiffed.
    Also the defense let manning drive right down the field with ease.

  • Jeff Burton

    Toussaint’s fumble didn’t lose that game. It was the Steelers 21st place Defense, featuring a 30th place pass defense. His running and TOUCHDOWN put us in the game! He has nothing to be ashamed of and I hope the Steelers ask him back.

  • Aeronius D. McCoy

    well, the defense might have folded at the end, but I don’t put a bit of blame on ’em. They held up for a little over 3 quarters on the road with the offense giving them very little rest. That loss was on the offense.

  • pittfan

    Lmao! O U C H !!!!