Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice Thursday. Lacy’s return to individual drills is a good sign for his Week 3 availability, but we’ll see how the ankle responds on Saturday. Even if he’s active, he may be limited since the Packers have a capable backup in James Starks.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) missed practice Thursday. Lacy’s status is very much up in the air after he was unable to finish an important game against the Chiefs. The Packers may elect to give him the week off since they have a capable backup in James Starks.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Green Bay's hard-charging running back, who sprained his ankle Sunday against the Seahawks, is a candidate to play Sept. 28 at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rapoport was told that Lacy's injury is minor, even if it kept him from finishing off a 27-17 win over Seattle. In his absence, reliable backup James Starks plowed for 95 yards inside a scheme that also saw superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw for 249 yards against the holdout-riddled Legion of Boom.
Lacy's injury was never thought to be serious, but his importance to this top-flight offense cannot be understated.
Lacy was carted off and had his ankle retaped but apparently couldn't put pressure on it. The Week 3 game is Monday night so owners will need a backup plan. Backing up Lacy with Starks would be a real nice solution, but it's good news that Lacy's status already looks positive.
Consider this: They're the only twosome who played together the last two seasons and totaled more than 3,000 rushing yards where the No. 2 back -- in this case Starks -- had at least 800 of those yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
So if the Green Bay Packers want to rely more on their running game to make up for the season-ending knee injury that Jordy Nelson sustained in Sunday's preseason game at Pittsburgh, then coach Mike McCarthy and play-caller Tom Clements certainly have that option.
While Lacy has been the workhorse, rushing for 2,317 yards combined in his first two NFL seasons, Starks' total of 826 yards the last two seasons has helped the Packers rank sixth in the league in rushing yards during that stretch. This could be great news for Lacy's fantasy value, but it also may give some value to Starks in deeper formats.
Unlike Matthews, who didn't practice at all Monday because of knee soreness, Lacy's problem actually occurred during practice. He dropped out late in the session and did not return with what coach Mike McCarthy said afterward was a sore foot.
James Starks finished the practice in Lacy's place with the No. 1 offense.
"Eddie had some foot soreness," McCarthy said. "They just pulled him out there near the end."
The story noted the Packers were careful this offseason not to overwork Lacy in practice, but when training camp opened last week, Lacy took his usual workload. The Packers could be thin at running back if Lacy is out for any extended period of time. Rookie John Crockett (ankle) remains on the physically unable to perform list, leaving Starks, Rajion Neal and Alonzo Harris as the only other available backs, the story said. The Packers won't be on the field again until Thursday morning so we may not know more about Lacy until then.
Monday, July 13, 2015, 2:23pm
For the third straight year, the Packers enter the season knowing who their top two running backs are. Training camp and the preseason will be used to figure out a new third option.
Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined for 1,472 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014. That’s a slight drop from their collective production the prior year (1,671 yards and 14 TDs) when they were relied on more during quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ injury absence.
The story pointed out Neal was making a bid for a roster spot last summer, only to be sidelined the rest of camp with a knee injury. He was placed on injured reserve at the first roster reduction and was eventually brought back to the practice squad right after last season’s bye week. Spending the rest of his rookie season in Green Bay appeared to pay dividends for Neal this past spring, as he got a lot of work during OTAs and showed trustworthy hands catching passes out of the backfield, the story added.
The only thing that can put Eddie Lacy on pause is the sub-freezing temperature of the Wisconsin outdoors that inflames his lungs.
But while an asthma attack sidelined him for a portion of the second quarter, the Green Bay Packers running back roared back and ended up with 101 yards on 19 carries against the respected Dallas run defense ranked No. 8 in the NFL this season.
"I had a real good first drive. And then...."
And then he had to tell running backs coach Sam Gash that he couldn't breathe. Backup running back James Starks was sent in, and Green Bay fell behind, 14-7, trailing at home for the first time since Week 2 against the New York Jets. All Lacy could do was warm up with a jacket and wait for his inhaler to help him out.
"You know your body is good enough to go out and play," said Lacy. "But ... you just can't breathe. And it's a breathing thing. It's not something you want to go out and risk...risk something bad happening. There's nothing I can do about it. It's a medical condition. I take my inhaler, I do everything I'm supposed to do. When it happens, it happens."
Lacy's absence early in the game was puzzling given the stage and his performance early on. He returned to the game and was a key to the Packers' ability to pull out the win. The team will need him next week to slow down Seattle's pass rush.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (hip, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 15. Lacy is now considered likely to play against the Bills. It’s a homecoming game for James Starks (born in Niagra Falls, NY), and we’re expecting Starks to see more than the usual five or so carries this week due to Lacy’s injury.
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 6:32pm
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (hip) took limited practice reps again Thursday. He reportedly didn’t do much of anything at practice. Lacy’s chances of playing have seemingly taken a turn for the worse. On Thursday, Lacy said he had “some things” that he needed to “figure out,” adding that he didn’t want to put the team at a disadvantage if he can’t play effectively. This sounds ominous. Owners should pick up James Starks (if available) as insurance in case Lacy can’t play against the Bills.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 6:25pm
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (hip) took limited practice reps Wednesday. We’ll be watching Lacy’s practice participation on a short week, but the team doesn’t seem too concerned about the injury. Owners should pick up James Starks (if available) as insurance in case Lacy’s injury is more serious than advertised.
It turned out Lacy sustained a hip bruise late in the game that prevented him from finishing. Lacy said he thought he would be OK despite the short turnaround to Sunday's game at Buffalo, but he couldn't go at the end against the Falcons.
"I mean I tried, but no," Lacy said.
Lacy and Starks combined for 148 yards rushing (Starks had 10 carries for 75 yards, while Lacy had 13 carries for 73 yards) and each scored a rushing touchdown. Lacy also caught a touchdown pass, but it was Starks who was there at the end.
"He had a great game out there tonight," Lacy said of his backfield mate. "And we have to go out and continue to do this for the rest of the season."
If you're a Lacy owner and Starks is on your wire, you may want to grab him. There could be some cause for concern that Lacy couldn't make his way back in in a close game, but beat writer Ty Dunne tweeted later on Tuesday that the team doesn't seem overly concerned about the injury. The Packers play at Buffalo in Week 15, and after playing on Monday night it is a short week. We'll continue to monitor him this week.
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 2:17pm
"James Starks is under contract through 2015, and Eddie Lacy is signed through 2016. Right now, they look like a good combination. But how many running backs do three contracts with the same team? That would be Starks if he did another deal after this one. By the time he's a free agent again, he will have just turned 30. The Packers appear to be preserving Lacy by limiting his carries this season. That suggests they want to keep him around for more than just one contract, but the shelf life for running backs is so short that at this point nothing's guaranteed. Lacy runs so hard and takes on so much contact that you wonder what he'll be like after four seasons."
Lacy hasn't put up the fantasy numbers owners hoped when they took him in the first round. But it appears the team is trying to keep his snaps under control, perhaps for the second half of the season and into a playoff run. The Pack's schedule is pretty favorable the next five weeks, at least in terms of going against defenses that allow fantasy points to RBs. It's possible we start to notice Lacy a little more.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm
Packers RB James Starks (ankle, probable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 8. Starks will play, but teams generally have a tough time running the ball in New Orleans.
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:04pm
Packers RB James Starks (ankle) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. It looks like Starks is on track to play.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm
Packers RB James Starks (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. We’ll monitor his progress this week. If Starks can’t play, Eddie Lacy would be a safer start, while DuJuan Harris would serve as his primary backup.
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