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Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint still carries regret over lost fumble in AFC Playoffs

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Fitzgerald Toussaint filled in admirably for Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, until he had a critical fumble in the Steelers playoff game against the Denver Broncos.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers chances of winning their playoff game against the Denver Broncos dwindled in the fourth quarter when Fitzgerald Toussaint was responsible for a fumble and subsequent turnover. The ultimate loss against the Broncos was a painful one since the Steelers had beaten the eventual Super Bowl Champions in Week 15 of the regular season. The on-fire offense could have shut down the Denver defense, and instead came up short.

At the time, the Steelers loss was intensely disappointing. Now, however, with free agency in full swing and the NFL Draft on the horizon, most fans are looking forward to the 2016 regular season and are hopeful that the combination of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le'Veon Bell will dominate the NFL once again.

Meanwhile, Toussaint hasn't gotten over his fourth-quarter fumble. He told Steelers.com:

"It was tough to get over. Fumbling is not what I do. I never had a problem with that. 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 didn't care about anything else. I know how hard Coach Tomlin worked for this. I'm 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. 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 put in is going to be towards fixing that situation and not letting it happen again."

Though Toussaint appears devastated by his mistake, he was touched by the support he felt from his teammates:

"It was beautiful to hear from everyone," said Toussaint. "Ben (Roethlisberger) talked to me multiple times after the game. That made me feel good; that was a breath of fresh air. He made me feel like I put in some good, quality work and that helped with the situation. Overall the love was tremendous.

"I could count on my fingers how many times someone talked negative, but it's out of this world how much love I got."

As the NFL machine continues to churn, Toussaint will most likely never get over such a critical miscue in a playoff game.

"I think about where we might have been," said Toussaint. "It's crazy. It was hard. It's still hard to this day. I think about it."

Such a mistake might linger with a player of Toussaint's stature, but the one way he can get such a negative and nasty taste out of his mouth is if he is able to help the Steelers capture a Lombardi trophy in 2016. Winning cures all, and Pittsburgh seems poised to do so next season with Toussaint being a more seasoned and experienced player to help complete their stable of running backs.