Last Sunday, Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy left the game against the Seattle Seahawks after sustaining an ankle injury. It was later found out that the injury is not serious and that Lacy would able to play next Monday. However, it looks like the Packers are not taking chances as head coach Mike McCarthy mentioned that they will be relying on James Starks to fill in Lacy's RB1 shoes should be become unavailable.
Starks performed well in Lacy's absence, managing to finish with 95 yards on 20 carries. The running back caught four receptions for 11 yards. "James Starks is a helluva running back, let's go back to his rookie year. He was on PUP pretty much almost, I think it was the last four weeks of the season we brought him up, and he was a big part of our run to the Super Bowl. He's the ultimate teammate. He always puts the team first. We could play 50/50 with Eddie and James if we had to. I have a lot of respect for James Starks," McCarthy said on Monday.
Eddie Lacy is a former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and his absence is a serious blow for the Packers because he topped 1,100 rushing yards in each of the previous two seasons. However, it will not be fair to expect Starks to repeat those numbers even if he does start without the main running back.
The 29-year-old Starks is a veteran in his sixth season in the league and has been with the Packers his entire career. He delivered 1,762 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, although he has never tallied more than 578 rushing yards in one year. The only time he reached the 500-yard plateau is during the 2011 season.
One day after the news of Lacy's injury broke out, coach McCarthy still did not rule out the former Alabama star playing in the team's next game. During the Green Bay Packers' press conference on Monday night, he mentioned that "Eddie was here today for treatment, and we'll see how he moves around Thursday. I think any time you have ankle injuries, particularly with perimeter players, until they get out there and hit the practice field we really won't know. Eddie Lacy wants to play football. I don't think there's any question about that. So if Eddie can go, he'll go."
Lacy will understandably focus in treating his ankle sprain this week. His potential availability for Week 3 will be known on Thursday. His injury was one of the many setbacks that the Packers has endured. Defensive tackle Josh Boyd was ruled out with a similar ankle ailment and wide receiver Davante Adams also left the game temporarily due to another ankle injury.