With DeAngelo Williams still nestled in a walking boot, the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to make Fitzgerald Toussaint their top man in the backfield for Saturday night's wild-card showdown with the Bengals.
"I just want to prepare to hunt," Toussaint said Wednesday. "I think that is going to be the key to this game."
It's an eerily similar setup to Pittsburgh's wild-card loss from a year ago, which saw the Steelers attempt to use a combination of Josh Harris and Ben Tate to replace the injured Le'Veon Bell. It didn't work.
If Williams can't overcome the foot injury he sustained in Week 17, Toussaint will be asked to fill the shoes of a player who stood atop the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns this season.
Still, coach Mike Tomlin has shown genuine faith in Toussaint and fellow back Jordan Todman, refusing to sign a runner off the street and telling reporters that Toussaint was just the kind of player Steelers fans would love.
With just 22 combined touches all year, Toussaint and Todman are a risk. The Steelers were fortunate that Williams stepped in so capably for Bell. Asking little-used third-stringers to match the feat is a tall task -- especially against this outrageous Bengals run defense.