The Green Bay Packers have a plan for Eddie Lacy, and it’s not to use him a lot so they can use him a lot.
After rushing for 1,178 yards last season and scoring 11 touchdowns during his rookie campaign, the Packers want to make sure in this pass-happy NFL Lacy will be ready for the regular season.
So that means working him in practice and limiting his game reps during preseason, so when the regular season kicks off at Seattle on Sept. 4, Lacy’s ready to roll.
“Eddie’s gotten a lot of work,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “His reps are up this year from last year, and you have to pay attention to that. It is not my goal for his workload to be very high in preseason games.”
The Packers’ approach with Lacy isn’t uncommon in the NFL. The Vikings rarely let Adrian Peterson carry the ball in the preseason and the Chargers did the same when LaDainian Tomlinson was on the team.
“It’s different, maybe, especially as a year two guy, but the coaches know what they have to do,” said Lacy, the 2013 NFL offensive rookie of the year. “They always make sure their players are in the best position.
“As long as you trust and believe the process the coaches are going to put you through, everything should work out.”
In 15 games last season, Lacy rushed 284 times (19 rushes per game), the most by a Packers running back since 2008, when Ryan Grant rushed 312 times. Lacy was reliable also, fumbling just once and that was his NFL debut at San Francisco.
That may not be a big deal, however, as the running back position has little to settle this preseason as Lacy, Starks and Harris are basically guaranteed to make the final 53-man roster.
Lacy will be the workhorse, Starks will spell Lacy to give him breaks and Harris will be a kick returner and change-of-pace back.
What’s interesting is, will Lacy have the same impact this season with a healthy Aaron Rodgers back at quarterback? At first thought, no.
But look further and compare the eight games with Rodgers and the eight games Rodgers missed last season — including the Bears game where he was injured early in the game — and Lacy averaged the same amount of carries.
Expect Lacy to have a big role in the Packers’ offense again, and expect him to be ready.
“I don’t look at it as though I need ‘x’ amount of snaps to be in sync with the team,” Lacy said.