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Cory's Corner: What's up with Eddie Lacy?

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Cory's Corner: What's up with Eddie Lacy?

Eddie Lacy has been a mystery this season. 

Is he hurt, or is he just not producing?

On Sunday against San Diego, his name didn’t even appear on the injury report before the game but he only received four carries for a paltry 3 yards.

“We're a one-two punch team," said Mike McCarthy. “It's really no different than the way we operate. We went with James (Starks) first just because he's been playing extremely well, and Eddie has been a little banged up.”

It seems pretty convenient that ever since Lacy injured his ankle in Week 2 against Seattle, McCarthy has been hinting at a platoon system. In 2013, when Lacy was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, he had 11 games, including playoffs, of 20 carries or more. Last year he had four. 

Ever since Lacy burst onto the scene with 99 rushing yards in his third game as a pro, his starting job was never questioned. He’s easily one of the better running backs in the league thanks to his assertiveness and his downhill running style which he perfected at Alabama. 

But now is the time for caution and prevention. The Packers need Eddie Lacy most at the end of November through January. When the weather gets bad, he’s like an all-terrain vehicle that can somehow get traction in the trickiest of situations. And by the time the second half rolls around, no defender wants to tackle him because the frozen hits the 5-foot-11, 231-pound back provides leave a stinging memory. 

If Lacy truly is not right, the Packers need to rest him until he’s fully healed. I’m not saying that James Starks should be the featured back, because he shouldn’t be. But Starks is capable to keep the offense churning for a couple weeks just to ensure that the team’s offensive linebacker is fully healed for another Lombardi run. 

His initial injury was one month ago. With all of the practicing and playing, his ankle hasn’t had time to heal properly — or for that matter heal at all. What’s worse is that his ankles are prone to get injured time and time again. 

The Packers have been able to keep to keep the playoff ship afloat with Jordy Nelson out and Randall Cobb not playing like his old self. Even though Starks was the guy that ran for 315 yards in four games en route to a Super Bowl title, Lacy will be needed this year because of his pass protection and his ability to keep the chains moving. 

This is a Super Bowl or bust season, especially after last year. Anything less than a trip to Santa Clara and it will be classified as a failure. Are those expectations pretty steep? You bet. But after last year’s heartbreaking exit, combined with the current 6-0 start, and you’ll see that it’s pretty fair. 

But in order to achieve that, the Packers are going to need a full arsenal of weapons. Lacy must be his old self that isn’t afraid to run people over and make them look silly with an array of spin moves.

If Lacy is indeed hurt, which he more than likely is, McCarthy must sit one of his best offensive weapons now so that he’s able to go when it matters. The Packers are one of the best teams in the NFC alongside the surprising Panthers, and Green Bay needs Lacy healthy when it visits Carolina in three weeks.



Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (45) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

packerfan9507's picture

He's a lizard person and lizard people need 2-4 weeks to regenerate their scales otherwise their legs fall off and they die.

John Cuevas's picture

Might want to consider the possibility that as scouts told Bob McGinn, Lacy is playing at 260+, 20 pounds over his playing weight when he was rusthing for 1200+ yards. That may have contributed to the coaching staff's decision to give him less work.

Nick Perry's picture

That's exactly what I think it is, Lacy is heavier this year than in years past. It's hard to argue with the stats he put up last year but when the Steelers RB Bell lost all that weight last year to make himself quicker, I hoped Lacy would do the same. It's hard to imagine the Packers staff would let Lacy balloon to 260, that just seems to be to much. If Lacy got down around 225 or 230, I think he'd still be a load, just a quicker load. Just a something I've always wondered about him.

Packer_Pete's picture

I'm not worried about Lacy at all. He has a different style than Bell. I'm not sure that losing weight and 'getting quicker' would work that well for him. But if you look at recent games, DBs almost back away from him and seem hesitant to want to tackle him. So I am fine with that. Let that ankle heal and have him ready for Nov and Dec, and then create a rush lane for him to get through the DL and we'll see that same Lacy we saw last year...
And the one thing that many people who are calling for Harris seem to forget is that pass protect is a big part of being a Packers RB. And Lacy is undoubtedly the best we have for doing that.

zoellner25's picture

There's no way he's 260. all players have weight goals and limits and they'd never let him get that big. compare photos to last year. no way's gained over 20. he's got a bad ankle. you try to maintain your conditioning and weight with a bad ankle.

Dan Stodola's picture

Did you see him when he was 230 at the combine? He's gained quite a bit since then. 250 for sure, and wouldn't surprise me if he was more.

zoellner25's picture

i don't believe it for one second, and we'll never know. Because MM won't divulge a player's weight. Come on, really? 260? He's bigger than CM3?

LeagueObsrvr's picture

I don't know if he's 260, but it's obvious that he has gained weight since last season. And if I remember correctly, the team asked him to shed a few pounds going into last off-season. I think the lack of playing time is because of his ankle and not any performance issues. If Starks is playing as well as he's been, it makes perfect sense to be patient with Lacy. This gives the Packers the luxury of having two starting caliber running backs at 100% as they go into their late-season playoff run. Go Pack!

4thand1's picture

Don't players get some pretty hefty fines for being over weight?

Dan Stodola's picture

I completely agree Nick. This was my comment on the other thread.

"I've been saying he is too heavy for awhile. I figure in the 250 range. I wish he would drop the weight to about 235 like he was at Bama. He would still be a power RB, but his quickness and speed would be much better IMO. He had a very solid game vs SF and we haven't seen a reinjury on the field, so I'm going under the assumption that its not the ankle, even tho it could be.

I just don't think Lacy is running w/ much authority and is too indecisive. He wasn't like that a Bama. I don't know for sure what it is, but I would certainly like to see him drop weight."

I'd like the Lacy we saw at Bama and LeVeon Bell is the perfect example.

Nick Perry's picture

He's very indecisive, even worse than he was at the start of last year it seems. Just to much shuffling the feet, waiting to hit the crease. Lacy isn't one of those eat, drink, sleep football junkies if I remember correctly. It's not the end all be all for him but watching Starks take his playing time can't be settling for him. Hopefully he doesn't gain MORE weight during the Bye and comes back fresh and lighter than last sunday. The Packers have to have Eddie Lacy playing the best ball of his career this year without Nelson and ll the other injuries.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm not worried about Lacy. He is the back they need in December-January. They don't necessarily need him in September-October. And especially with the way Starks has been running, it makes sense to ride Starks a bit more.

Last year was kind of the same way. In the month of September last year Lacy averaged 3.0 yards per carry.
In the month of October he averaged 5.1, November 4.9, December 5.2.

As the season wears on, Lacy becomes more effective and more important.

WKUPackFan's picture

Thank you!! The numbers are similar to last year.

Idiot Fan's picture

I totally agree. I remember last year at about this point thinking that he looked hesitant and, frankly, not as good as Starks. But then later in the season he flipped a switch and became awesome. Although I also think that our Oline tends to start slow and get better as the season goes on each year. Here's to hoping they both start making the ascent. We know they definitely have it in them.

Lphill's picture

I think it's his ankle but long term being a pass first team I don't see the Packers bending over backwards to retain him , always plenty of backs available in the draft . But I expect his output to increase after the bye.One thing about him I have met him and he is a good kid , almost I have to say on the shy side he at least was raised right. Just had to add that.

WKUPackFan's picture

A lot of the neanderthals like Archie and Big T don't like Lacy. Why? Because Lacy is soft-spoken and humble. The neanderthals take this as a sign of weakness. They prefer the guys that are out there losing their minds with emotion (while most likely missing assignments at the same time).

Bearmeat's picture if they're "neanderthals" why throw such a copious amount of red meat at them? :)

Bearmeat's picture

I do think Lacy looks slow, hesitant and overweight. But I'm watching on TV. Perhaps I'm wrong. BUT if I'm not, he needs to drop that extra weight. His H/W/S numbers aren't impressive even with his brute strength taken into consideration if he's out of shape.

Tundraboy's picture

I think it's a combination of Offense being out of sync. Line, WR issues etc. And of course his ankle. Everything will fall into place.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

It is a bye week, so Lacy will get some time off. I admit that it would be nice to have Lacy for the Denver game given their pass rush, but if he needs more time, I have confidence in the running part of Alonzo Harris' game, and he should be made active. We will just have to deal with whatever deficiencies Harris has in pass pro and as a receiver (Starks too).

cheezit's picture

As late as the SF game on October 4th Lacy was playing pretty well - 18 carries for 90 yards (5.0 ypc) and he looked good doing it. His ankle needs time to heal, and we're lucky that we have Starks to pick up a good bit of the workload until that happens, and to be a great change of pace when Lacy is healthy.

The bye week couldn't have come at a better time.

croatpackfan's picture

For me, he looks like not healthy person. Ankle or something else... It is not his speed but body language... I think we can survive Denver with Harris and Starks, especially if Davante and Ty will be able togo,,,
Rest Eddie!

Since '61's picture

In spite of MMs "one-two punch" comment, I think it was his intention to rest Lacy versus SD. If we had gone up 24-3 after the fumble recovery in the 1st half I doubt that we would have seen Lacy at all. But we didn't and SD kept the game close and our offense stalled out so Lacy was brought in to hopefully get things going. For whatever reason(s), ankle, mental let down, whatever, Lacy clearly wasn't ready to go. We need Lacy @ 100% for Carolina and our upcoming division games. Denver is an AFC game, and while every game is important it is not as critical as the NFC and divisional games. We need to win our NFC and divisional games to get the #1 seed. We need to win what could become tie-breaker games against Carolina, Arizona and Dallas and of course our division games. At 6-0 already we can take the AFC games a little light and rest Lacy against Denver if he is still not ready. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Sadly, I think some beat writers will refrain from telling us if Lacy looks overweight when they see him in person. Access and all that. I don't think McGinn cares anymore. [Decent chance of some blow back on this opinion from ... well, I won't put words in other peoples mouths.]

jh9's picture

Until Lacy injured his ankle, he looked and played great. If he is overweight, he didn't put on all that weight in the last three weeks.

Lacy is a big game player. In all the interviews I've heard, he knows when he needs to be at his best. We saw that when he played for Alabama, and we have seen that sense of pacing himself since he became a Packer.

If we don't win it all this year, it won't be because of Lacy. He'll be fine.

Fejs Buks's picture

Eddie should not play vs. Denver because his asthma problems, rest him 2 to 3 weeks and he will be fine.I agree with comments about his weight, he must drop some pounds. Greetings to all Packers fans from Podgorica, Montenegro.

EddieLee's picture

Did anyone here read McCarthy's full quotes about this topic? It seems clear. Lacy is a bruising back that isn't going to last 18+ games getting 20-25 carries. Don't overthink this. McCarthy is simply saving his mudder thoroughbred for December and January. Same as last year.

egbertsouse's picture

Lacy looks hesitant and tentative hitting the holes, probably because his ankle isn't 100%. Of course, calling plays that have him getting the ball while running east-west isn't helping.

wimiller's picture

i too noticed, especially two weeks ago that Lacy seemed not to be seeing the open hole, misreading the play, in the way starks used to do so often. something is not quite right, and i think he has to be hurting. there is just too much natural talent there,he has to be hurting and maybe lost some confidence. he also strikes me as having real character. it is way too early to for fans to start losing confidence in him.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

Maybe I am seeing something not there but when he comes off the field he looks hurt. I have watched the Packers for 60 yrs and to me he just seems not himself.

Duke Divine's picture

Eddie is not healthy. In practice periods open to the press Bill Michaels said he has had reporters telling him LAcy is limping slightly after drills. Get healthy for the stretch Big Ed!

Evan's picture

Which raises the question, why the hell is he even active right now? Especially if he's only going to get 4 carries. Let Starks and Harris carry the load until Lacy is ready to roll.

RCPackerFan's picture

This, is very true. And that is a great question.

Bohj's picture

He's active because he could play if he had to. If Starks went down, Lacy would play hurt even if not as effective. Harris isn't ready yet. have to game plan for Lacy. MM won't allow any more information on Lacy's injury than he has to. So if he doesn't have to be inactive or on the injury report, the opponents have to spend the time on him whether they like it or not.
I don't buy into the weight thing one bit.
One other point: blocking is worse than running when you have a bum ankle because dudes are crushing you into your own ankle. That is the biggest reason his snaps are down right now.

EdsLaces's picture

With all due respect....who cares. I live Lacy as much as the next guy (obviously) but seriously who cares. I don't care if the guy gettin the ball is named Eddie James aka Jimbo Alonzo .....Mike Bob Chuck Frank ....or even Shannon. All that matters is that the player carrying the ball is getting yards. Starks averaged over 10 yards a carry this week so yeah I woulda stuck with him too. Get rest ...get healthy..and whoever is in there run like the wind young grasshoppa.

EddieLee's picture

On another note - it's bye week. Thompson has used it in the past to extend a guy. The guy willing to take a team friendly deal. Who this year? Raji? Daniels? Jones? Perry? Neal?

Evan's picture

Was just thinking the same thing. Let's get Daniels done.

Bohj's picture

Raji is already on a prove it deal. I see us extending him, but shifting the money in a drawn out way in bonuses vs cap.

Daniels we will lock up for sure. But not team friendly. We'll give him what he's worth but no more. If he wants more, he can test the market.

Perry will get a prove it deal like Raji did. He needs to demonstrate he can stay healthy.

Jones? You mean Datone? Hmmmmm.......we'll wait til the offseason for him. He needs a greater body of work.

Neal. Maybe needs the rest of the season to get a deal as well.

Are all these guys on their last year of contracts already? Yikes.

PaulRosik's picture

The Packers are winning so people are going to minimize this. But Lacy has not looked good and its only his name value from his past work that keeps him in the starting lineup at this point.

Bohj's picture

Three bum games on a bum ankle.......and we're saying he's done!?

PaulRosik's picture

4 carries for three yards in a game the packers had the lead in all day long. No he's not done but he's not right at this time and the coaches seem to know it and kept him off the field.

Dan Stodola's picture

Based on how each has played so far this season, its not out of the question the move to start Starks was a performance based decision. Lacy hasn't played very well excepting the SF game IMO. I doubt that's the case, but its not out of the question.

I certainly expect better from Lacy.

Lphill's picture

I was face to face with Lacy in street clothes, he looks far from fat, very well built and much taller in person, just in pads he looks shorter and wider, maybe he wears thicker pads or something so I don't think its his weight at all. has to be the ankle.

Allan Murphy's picture

Saving him for the play offs ..

PETER MAIZ's picture

I think Eddie does need to rest the ankle and lose some weight. But mostly, he might be homesick.

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