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Eddie Lacy's toe injury reportedly turned off Steelers

Viewed as a Jerome Bettis-type battering ram, former Alabama standout Eddie Lacy popularly was connected to the Pittsburgh Steelers in mock drafts. As it turns out, the team took the physical tailback off their draft board.

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The Steelers' front office "would not touch" Lacy because his big toe had been fused last offseason, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday.

The injury originally was reported as a turf toe, but it turned out to be a more serious concern for NFL teams.

Lacy was the consensus No. 1 running back throughout the pre-draft process. He saw three backs go off the board before his name finally was called by the Green Bay Packers at the end of the second round with the 61st overall pick.

"We feel pretty good about it," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said of Lacy's injury history. "I think it could have been one of the reasons he wasn't drafted earlier by other teams."

Although the toe fusion might lead to durability issues down the line, it shouldn't be a major issue this season. After undergoing the procedure, Lacy racked up 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns on 204 carries for the national champions. As an every-down back in one of the league's most dynamic offenses, Lacy will be among the favorites for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors next season.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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