Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is in wait-and-see mode regarding star running back Eddie Lacy.
Lacy is in more of a wait-and-feel mode.
“Eddie was here today for treatment and we’ll see how he moves around Thursday,” when the Packers begin their practice week for Monday night’s game at Kansas City, McCarthy said on Monday, the day after a 27-17 win over Seattle. “I think anytime you have ankle injuries, particularly with the perimeter players, until they get out there and hit the practice field, whether it’s in the pre-practice, we really won’t know.”
Lacy carried three times for 9 yards. His final play was a key third-and-1 conversion on the Packers’ opening touchdown drive. He spent the next series getting his ankle worked on behind the bench and was driven to the locker room on a cart before the third possession.
“Eddie Lacy wants to play football, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” McCarthy said. “If Eddie can go, he’ll go. It’s a medical decision. There’s a process that goes on with every player who goes through this. It will be no different with Eddie.”
In his place, James Starks rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries. It was one of the busiest days of Starks’ six-year career. He’s only carried the ball more once (25 times at Detroit in 2012) and rushed for more yards once (132 yards vs. Washington in 2013). He did fumble away the ball on Green Bay’s first possession of the second quarter.
Starks ran the ball just twice in the opener at Chicago.
“You have to prepare like you’re the guy,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. “When you get your opportunity, you’re ready. You’re ready to step in and make the most of your opportunities. The start of that is to make the most of the ones that you have, and then maybe those opportunities will come. I think he did a fantastic job. Obviously, there are some areas that we’ve got to clean up. We’ve got to continue to be more fundamentally sound – that’s us as an offense.”
Running on a bad ankle is nothing new for Lacy. He did it down the stretch in 2013 after injuring the same ankle in the Week 14 game vs. Atlanta. During the final four games (including playoffs), Lacy carried the ball 78 times and added 10 receptions.
“Obviously, all the credit goes to Eddie and his mental preparation and the coaches getting him ready,” McCarthy said when asked to recall the injury. “The injury definitely happened late enough where we were far enough down the line.”
Meanwhile, the Packers placed defensive tackle Josh Boyd on season-ending injured reserve due to a broken ankle sustained during the second quarter on Sunday. To fill the spot, the Packers brought back inside linebacker Joe Thomas, who they signed off of Dallas’ practice squad.
“He’s just a good, young football player,” McCarthy said. “We got down there on the final day (of roster cuts) and he was a young man we talked a lot about and it was tough to see him go. It will be great to get him back in the mix, but we look at Joe as one of our guys.”
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