Well, this certainly is a bit of a surprise. San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Eli Harold tweeted Saturday evening that until now he has never been able to push off on his big toe. He said this year will mark the first time he has been 100 percent healthy in his football career.
I've never been able to push off of my big toe ! This season will be the first time that I will be 100% ever in my football career— Ⓜ️adⓂ️ax (@EliHarold_) January 29, 2017
Inability to push off a single toe might not seem like a big deal, but the big toe is critical to getting leverage in pushing off. He does not specifically describe this as a turf toe injury, but it is likely related to that. Patrick Willis retired because of repeated toe injuries, showing just how brutal it can be.
Eli Harold is entering his third season with the 49ers, and it has been a fairly low key start. He had three sacks in year two after being held without a sack as a rookie. It was a step forward, but he was not emerging like most of us hoped. It remains to be seen if this will actually make an impact, but if the toe has been an issue and no longer is, it will make for something to watch a little more closely heading into 2017.