Dare we call it The Taming of the Toe? The Pittsburgh Steelers passed on running back Eddie Lacy in the NFL draft. The Denver Broncos did as well. In fact, nearly every team in the league passed on Lacy. And most did it twice – that is, until the Green Bay Packers selected him with pick No. 61.
Was Lacy’s free-fall all about his right big toe, which allegedly had been surgically fused and may or may not remain perilously fragile? Could the toe come back to haunt him and the Packers?
Oh, the drama!
Calm down, kiddies.
University of Alabama team doctor E. Lyle Cain Jr. said it’s much ado about nothing.
“The joint underneath the toenail was fused to allow the ligament to work better, basically,” Cain told the Pioneer Press. “It’s something you do to give you a better push-off. His big toe moves just like a normal big toe in terms of motion … If you fused it completely, it’d give you a stiff big toe and you can’t push off and that’s a big problem. In Eddie’s case, he does not have that.
“The bottom line is, the fusion he had does not affect his big-toe motion.”
Move along. Nothing to see here.
We wondered aloud just last week about what the back story was, because it had been largely ignored by the mainstream media. Now we know. Or at least we know more.
As for the long-term ramifications, it still remains to be seen whether the rigors of the NFL will cause more problems with the toe. Is it possible other teams overreacted? Was there not enough information available for teams scouting Lacy? Because it stands to reason that if the Packers were high on Lacy, they did the same due diligence as the Steelers and Broncos.
As for how it will affect Lacy as a player, Cain said, the “window of legitimate concern” has passed. Lacy’s 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns last season during the Crimson Tide’s BCS championship run would support that notion – at least in the short term. And going forward?
“I expect Eddie Lacy to have a long, productive NFL career,” Cain assured. “I don’t think the toe will be a problem in his career.”
“It’s nothing that I’m thinking about,” Lacy told Pioneer Press. “I’m pretty sure I won’t have any problems with it. It’s holding up good. The surgery was basically perfect, and now it’s about getting back to doing what I know how to do best.”
As for all the toe drama, hopefully it will be a case of all’s well that ends well.