Toe injury scared Steelers away from Lacy


Though he seemed in many ways like a perfect fit for Pittsburgh, the Steelers passed on running back Eddie Lacy, opting instead to pick Le’Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 draft.

So why didn’t they want Lacy?

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers were scared off not by Lacy’s hamstring injury but by an injury to his big toe that resulted in fusion surgery.

Though the injury previously had been described as “turf toe,” there had been no reports or discussion that the toe had been fused.

Regarded as the top running back in the draft, Lacy was the fourth one taken, by the Packers as the 29th pick in round two.

60 responses to “Toe injury scared Steelers away from Lacy

  1. Lacy will be a bust period. He benefited from playing on a semi-pro team at Bama’ and that’s why no other team wanted him.

  2. I figured it would be the fact that Richardson and Ingram went from YPC over 6 in college to under 4 once they weren’t running through holes you could fit a Mac truck through.

  3. Jon Jones big toe last night scared me away from any toe talk. If Rex Ryan saw that video, he’d have nightmares.

  4. I like both backs and believe both can be a factor,but the fact is both have injury issues and neither one is an Adrian Peterson type game breaker if they were they would have went in the 1st round.

  5. You are always buying a pig in a poke when you get a running back. Even if he is great for one year he may not be great the next year. He could blow out a knee and never come back. Or have a concussion and never play to his potential again. Like the pick and hope that we have the next Ahman Green – both in performance and longevity – we need real offensive diversity and you only get that with performance. So I am glad we took him and I hope he gives Peterson a run for his money re yards gained – but doubt that he will need to be pounded for as many carries as Peterson.

  6. This just in: Johnathan Franklin won’t average 8.0 ypc in the NFL.

    Lacy & Franklin don’t have to be superstars, they just have to be productive.

    If you’re picking up an RB in the bottom half of round 2, might as well get about the most physical guy out there who is fast for his size. love the pick

  7. That sort of foot injury likely scared away Rex Ryan too, for slightly different or additional reasons.

  8. ‘Bama RBs look great in college because of the Tide’s dominating OL, but once they get into the NFL they quickly reach their ceilings.

  9. So the Steelers are worried about Eddie Lacy’s toe yet go ahead and draft a guy diagnosed with spinal stenosis in the first round?! Hypocrites.

    Lacy had turf toe for half of the 2011 season and only missed one game. He had surgery the spring of 2012 and didn’t miss a game during the 2012 season. With every injury he has had he has shown the ability/toughness to play through it (and put up great numbers).

  10. On a position that’s been devalued the last 10 years, the Packers took two runningbacks? Hahahaha. That just means that Ted Thompson found out later what was wrong with Lacey so he had to fix it by taking Franklin. Yeah..simply genius.

    For a team that hardly gives the ball to a runningback, and you drafted two! Waste of a pick.

  11. Dont even compare lacy with peterson in any ways shape or firm that like comparing rodgers to ponder

  12. We are so wise. Our superiority is truly unfair, we know. We here your complaints and we are trying our best to accommodate the lowly souls out there.

  13. Personally i would not have drafted Lacy in the 2nd round . I would have taken WR Kennan Allen and stashed him until his knee is better or NT John Jenkins from U Georgia to clog the middle next to Datone Jones. Then i would have drafted RB Latavius Murray later on . All the jealous Packer haters must remember the Packers play on GRASS 8 GAMES a year at Lambeau field . When they play in Candle stick in September vs the 49’ers thats on grass too. Eddie lacy only has to carry the ball 15 quality times a game . He doesn’t have to be Earl Campbell . Jonathan Franklin is the next Warwick Dunn according to Brian Billick. SO TAKE THAT PACKER HATERS !

  14. The responses from Packer Backers only proves them to be dumber than Baltimorons. What a shame.

  15. One more thing to all you jealous Packer Haters out there . The Packers won’t let ex saftey Nick Collins play because of a neck injury . This is a conservative franchise that is run very wisely . The medical staff check out Lacey before Ted Thompson took him at # 61 in the 2nd round. T T is no dummy. He had all the medical information on Eddie Laxey before he drafted him. Aaron Rodgers play action passing game will now be come LETHAL !

  16. Denver also passed on Lacy because of the toe — they instead opted for Montee Ball. Below is Elway’s quote courtesy of the Denver Post. The injury must be more serious than some here are making it out to be.

    Denver Post: “When cornerbacks Darius Slay and Jamar Taylor and running back Le’Veon Bell went off the draft board before the No. 58 pick in the second round, the Broncos had two workhorse tailbacks to choose from: Ball, whose Heisman Trophy chances last year dissipated because of an early season concussion, and Eddie Lacy, the 231-pound runner from national champion Alabama whose draft stock fell because of a toe problem. “It was a close call,” said John Elway, the Broncos’ head of football operations. “It came down to the medical (report).”

  17. I love how, every year, fans of teams say “we need this guy. He’s a can’t miss. He’s the missing piece to our team.” Then, after the draft, and they don’t get that guy, they’re like “we didn’t want him anyway, he has bust written all over him. Your team is worse for taking him.”

    Let’s just see what he actually does on the field before calling him a bust or a HOFer.

    And the only way I’ll compare him to AP is in the fact that AP had a reputation for getting injured as well coming out of college.

  18. the guy lacks speed. Jimmy J used to say you can’t coach speed. Either you got it or you don’t and he don’t. He will find brick walls waiting for him in the pro’s and corners will circle the wagons on him.

  19. Eddie Lacey is a solid back. Much closer to Mark Ingram than Trent Richardson. He ran behind a historically elite line that made even AJ McCarron look good.

    Some might call Le’Veon Bell a Big 10 plodder, but catches the ball and squares his shoulders upfield faster than I’ve seen any 230 Lb Big 10 back.

  20. Immediately after the draft, every teams’ draft was critiqued by some media type, BEFORE ANY OF THE PLAYERS HAS PLAYED A DOWN IN THE NFL.

    These are some of the same geniuses who assign “stars” to 17 and 18 year old kids who are being recruited by colleges.

    Lacy will either be an all-pro, a toltal bust, or somewhere in between. As will every other draftee or free agent this year.

  21. Those who say Lacy will fail are just praying they are right but they must remember that with Rodgers and the passing game he wont have to get the stats he got in college,he just has to move the chains and not go backwards,which he wont.defenses will have to respect the running game now for the first time in years and that running game will help chalk up at least three more wins this coming season when defenders must move closer to the LOS to defend against the run.

  22. @stealthjunk:

    Different teams evaluate medicals differently. Some can take bigger chances than others based on their rosters(SF with Lattimore and Carradine). A lot of teams had Gronk off their board when he was coming out(I know he’s been hurt a lot, but from broken bones, not the back injury he was red flagged for in college).

    I just think Lacy is slow and has a questionable work ethic. He came from a good program and faced top competition, but Bama’s OL was jacked. Also troubling is lack of production from Ingram and Richardson.

    We’ll see how it all plays out, and steelers seem to have found a fit for what they like, but Big 10 RBs haven’t exactly lit it up either. You have to go back to LJohnson for elite production(or MBarber), and that was only for a short time. Not to mention the off-field issues.

  23. billh1947, you hit the nail on the head. Also, with Johnathan Franklin drafted, he won’t have to be a workhorse, either. Just get those tough yards to move the chains a few times a game along with a few other carries to keep his head in the game, and our offense will be rolling.

  24. I love how people come here and have to belittle the fans of all other teams.

    A team will pick whoever they want for the reasons they want. Not all players can be picked by all teams.

    There is NOTHING hypocritical about that. What one team doctor things may be too risky, another team will not.

    Maybe we can all be adults now.

  25. thesteelers says: Apr 28, 2013 3:43 PM

    We are so wise. Our superiority is truly unfair, we know. We here your complaints and we are trying our best to accommodate the lowly souls out there.

    So happy that you “here” the complaints. To be so “wise”….tsk tsk; spelling C-

  26. Well were there is smoke theres probably fire. I think the Packers were a little leary about drafting Lacy too because if they really wanted him they would not have traded down with San Fran 6 spots from 55 to 61 if they really wanted the guy.

    Just being real. I like the potential of Lacy but I can’t deny that GB somewhat reluctantly picked the guy. Despite the toe, the guy still has some of the best looking nimble feet for a guy thats 230 lbs. We will see how it all turns out in a couple of months.

    Seems like GB doubled down on all of their picks for the most part, 2 RBs, 2 OTs, 2 WRs 2 LBs and 2 DL guys but only one DB to make 11 total selections.

  27. bballnut50 says: Apr 28, 2013 6:54 PM

    looks like another blown cheesehead central number one pick…

    Yeah, you’re so right. Those Cheesehead Packers are terrible at drafting. With the way they blow those draft picks, it’s a miracle they even won one game with their players, let alone eleven last year. And fifteen wins the year before. Lombardi Trophy the year before. It can only meant that all the games are rigged in their favor. Did I mention the Packers are terrible and their fans are stupid? etc., etc., etc. Skol Vikings!

  28. This is just the Steelers taking some heat for taking Bell over Lacy.
    Tape doesn’t lie, not sure what the OL had to do with all the guys he made miss in the backfield of the ND game. Plus he averaged more than a yard per carry better than Ingram and Richardson…
    those guys didn’t run behind chumps.

  29. A few guys were right…hes not gona have2 do as much running as he did because of discount double check and the way they sling the ball…he just wouldnt last in the burgh or any other “run 1st” team…i just think the steelers where thinkn more long term and bell is younger with more tread on his tires…how long do yal really think he would last in the nfl with bigger bodies running the way he did in college with that kind of injury…on green bay he just may last longer because he doesnt have2 carry tha ham as much as bama needed him2!

  30. kirksutton says: Apr 28, 2013 4:49 PM

    The Steelers are scared of turf toe but not spinal stenosis.


    Or they just don’t want to wind up with another situation like Rashard Mendenhall. I don’t find it surprising that the Steelers were wary about taking a guy with an injury history like Lacy for that reason alone.

  31. GenXJay says:
    Apr 28, 2013 3:58 PM
    “Good call Steelers. It would’ve been a wasted pick.”
    Funny, name me a draft pick from the vikes that won a superbowl for that franchise…. can’t think of any?

    Great, means they’re all wasted picks – people play this game for one reason, win a superbowl – none of your players were good enough to become champions.

    Continue trolling contenders, it’s what loser fanbases are known for.

  32. Draft is over..nobody cares who you Backseat GMs WOULD HAVE taken..ckeck the stats at the end of the season.

  33. Funny that no one but the Steelers knew about the toe? LOL.

    There is nothing wrong with lacy. he will be a good fit in Green Bay. Lacy can grind out yards without great blocking as he showed time and again last season. the kid is tough.

    The Packers will commit to the run game this season because they have to if they want to win another SB. Rodgers can shoulder the load during the regular season, but the post season is not a time when you want to rest it all on the QB.

    Having a decent running game will help keep the D rested as well. Last season, GB was bad in the TOP category. Evening that out with the rest of the top tier teams will put GB in a good spot and give them a chance to go all the way.

    Bottom line. Good teams know what they need to do and adjust. Green Bay is one of the good teams in the NFL.

  34. So the criticism on Lacy is that he ran behind a pro offensive line in college…

    Wait, so he isn’t going to run behind one in the NFL either?

  35. I like a comment I saw in another post, something like: Lacy and Franklin are going to give the Pack a “thunder and lightning” running attack. That would be fun.

    You know, Green Bay has had terrible luck on RB injuries the last x years. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the RB luck profile will change and we’ll be blessed with a thunder and lightning result for several years to come.

    Now, if that happens, we’ll have coach McCarthy setting up the run with the passing game. Nothing I’d like better than a few 45 yard draw plays every game.

    How many times will GBay get back to the Super Bowl while Aaron is still playing? Maybe never. Only the Lord knows. But now with a thunder and lightning running attack within the realm of possibility, I am feeling really good about the Sunday TV schedule next autumn. Can’t wait.

  36. I liked watching Lacy in college, but his supposed lack of work ethic and he one dimensional play are reasons he dropped. I don’t think he has a lot of burst. You can chalk some of it up to playing behind the best O-line if college football. He would take the handoff and run forward as fast as he could. He has some nimbleness to his running, but the holes were huge and he was a battering ram most of the time.

    The holes won’t be as big and the players won’t fold when he hits them like they did in college. Yes, he was playing in the best conference, but now he will be playing against the best of the best and they won’t shy away from his contact.

    I think he will make a good complement to the GB passing game and if he is schemed for properly can really contribute. I didn’t think any of the runners in this years draft are special, but hopefully they go to the right situation and avoid the injury bug.

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