Eddie Lacy and Sam Shields will not play again this season.
Instead, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the one player who will be recalled from injured reserve is …
You guessed it: Undrafted rookie cornerback Makinton Dorleant.
“It’s unfortunate for Eddie and it’s unfortunate for Sam but, based on all the medical information and the conversations to this point, that’s where we are,” McCarthy said before Wednesday’s practice.
It’s possible neither Lacy nor Shields will play another game in a Packers uniform.
After weight issues led to a disappointing 2015 season, Lacy got off to an excellent start with 360 yards and a 5.1-yard average in his first five games. He played through an injured ankle against Dallas in Week 6, needed surgery and was placed on injured reserve. This is Lacy’s final year under contract. Perhaps at the right price, Lacy could return. Or, perhaps the Packers will be ready to move on.
Shields’ future in the game, meanwhile, is in jeopardy. After missing four games at the end of last season due to a concussion, Shields suffered another concussion during the Week 1 game at Jacksonville. He was inactive for the next four games before going on injured reserve. While Lacy has stayed with the team, Shields had gone home to Florida.
“Really, the conversation with Sam, I know particularly mine with him is he needs to get healthy for himself and his family,” McCarthy said. “That needs to be his focus and it is his focus. That’s what we’re focusing on.”
If Shields does not return, the Packers would save $9 million of cap space.
So, the Packers will use their one designated-for-return spot on Dorleant, an undrafted free agent cornerback from Northern Iowa who was sidelined twice in training camp with hamstring injuries. The last of those came in the third preseason game against San Francisco. He briefly made the 53-man roster, then was placed on injured reserve.
“We’re not going to do a whole lot (at practice) coming off a Sunday night game,” McCarthy said. “But explosive, he plays with great energy. I liked his toughness. I thought he did some really good things on special teams. He was injured pretty much the whole training camp but fought through it and did some good things. It will be good to get him out there and see where he is.”
A few other injury updates:
— Guard T.J. Lang is a “long shot” to play due to his injured ankle, McCarthy said. Against Washington, Lang’s replacement, Don Barclay, was benched at halftime due to a pregame shoulder injury. Second-round pick Jason Spriggs played better than Barclay and figures to get the start, though Barclay’s experience and a tough road test doesn’t make that a lock.
— While Shields’ season is over, cornerback Damarious Randall returned to practice. He’s missed the last five games following groin surgery. Randall practiced the week before the Tennessee game but did not practice last week.
— The Packers don’t have to produce an injury report until Thursday but fullback Aaron Ripkowski (unknown), cornerback Demetri Goodson (knee), inside linebackers Jake Ryan (ankle/personal) and Blake Martinez (knee), outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell (unknown), center J.C. Tretter (knee) and Lang (ankle) did not practice.
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