Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, however, wouldn’t even rule out Lacy for Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.
“Just had a quick meeting with Ted Thompson before I came down here,” McCarthy said on Wednesday morning. “His conversations with Dr. McKenzie, they’re still going through all the information, so that’s exactly where we are. He will work with the rehab group today at practice. He’s made a little bit of progress, is the feedback that I’ve been given. Frankly, he’s going to have to have a wonderful, great 24 hours to play in the game. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. But he will be in the large rehab group today.”
Assuming Lacy can’t play and with James Starks already out following knee surgery, the Packers would go into Thursday night with newly acquired Knile Davis, receiver/running back Ty Montgomery and perhaps practice-squad player Don Jackson in the backfield.
Davis, of course, has the unusual challenge of having to learn some segment of the game plan and playbook in a matter of a couple of days.
“He’s bright,” McCarthy said. “He definitely has carryover from Kansas City offense and just kind of relate to how they call things, did things and how we’re going to do it. I think he’ll be fine in time.”
But in how much time? The Packers don’t have that luxury, especially on a short week. Davis arrived in Green Bay at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and worked with the scout-team offense at practice. Wednesday’s practice will be less than an hour, McCarthy said. So, Davis’ intelligence and ability to meld the Chiefs’ playbook with the Packers’ playbook will be critical in determining just how much he can contribute vs. Chicago.
Back in 2010, the Packers boosted their shorthanded defensive line by claiming Howard Green off waivers on a Wednesday. He played that Sunday against the Jets, with defensive line coach Mike Trgovac teaching him plays by using chairs in a hotel lobby.
“Chair drills are good,” McCarthy said. “We use garbage cans and things like that when you’re dealing with protections and teaching plays, just reviewing footwork. So that’s all part of our classroom environment. We’ll do everything we can, because, frankly, A, we’re on a short week, B, he just arrived yesterday. When you’re bringing in a player in-season, you don’t really get to go back and teach him the system. You teach him the foundation, go through the install phase. You kind of work through that in the off-hours, because you have to get ready to exercise a game plan, which is different than an installation. That’s what we’re focused on. He’s a veteran, so I think he’ll do fine.”
The situation isn’t any better in the secondary. The team put cornerback Sam Shields on injured reserve on Tuesday and McCarthy said the other top corners, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, would be “hard-pressed” to play on Thursday. That leaves some combination of LaDarius Gunter, Micah Hyde, Demetri Goodson and Josh Hawkins to play cornerback against the NFL’s fourth-ranked passing attack.
“I have great confidence,” McCarthy said. “They’re getting in there to play, and we’re going to win the game. I mean, we’ve got a good football team. Every one of our guys are good football players. Maybe on a different level as far as their experience and things like that, but they’re working to get better. We’ve got a good plan. We’ll emphasize that today, and get ready to go tomorrow night.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.