2020 Super Bowl: 49ers star Raheem Mostert recalls the time he shot his toe off as a kid

Raheem Mostert is a big story heading into Super Bowl LIV, going from castoff running back to postseason superstar, but San Francisco 49ers fans might appreciate his emergence even more once they realize what happened to him as a child.

The 27-year-old ball-carrier has proven he's more than capable of running away from defenders at the professional level, fresh off a 220-yard, four-touchdown breakout in the Niners' NFC Championship win over the Green Bay Packers. But it turns out he's fashioned himself into a reliable weapon on a Super Bowl contender with fewer than 10 toes.

As told to Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, Mostert's family was constantly moving around Daytona Beach and other nearby Florida areas when he was growing up, in part to avoid gang violence. Though he never knew his biological father, the Purdue product had a "dad" who ultimately brought a gun into their home following a gang invasion. Instead of protecting the family, though, the gun ended up in Mostert's hands when he was either 3 or 4. The future NFL running back found the weapon in a pile of laundry, then "horsed around and nearly killed himself," according to Dunne, accidentally shooting his big left toe and stunting his growth.

Mostert can have a laugh about the incident now, calling his shortened toe a "good-luck charm" and chuckling at the thought of teammates being surprised when they see it. He also uses the memory as motivation to raise his family differently.

But it also serves as added proof that his underdog story has seen its fair share of adversity. Originally undrafted in 2015, the Niners standout was cut by six different teams in his first two seasons in the NFL. Before latching on with San Francisco in late 2016, he'd already been discarded by the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Chicago Bears.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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