Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has confirmed that Eddie Lacy and Sam Shields will not be returning from the injured reserve for the remainder of the season. Instead, the team has opted to activate Makinton Dorleant.
Through a recent statement from the coach, McCarthy ended the speculations about Lacy's return this year. He has been on injured reserve since October after suffering an ankle injury and undergoing surgery.
As for Shields, he has not been on the field since Week 2 after suffering a concussion in the opening game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In the case regarding Lacy, it is not yet clear if the Packers decided not to activate him due to his physical condition. Surely, he was already on his way to recovery which is why many fans are already anticipating his return.
However, if it's not his condition, the McCarthy may have decided to keep him on injured reserve due to his inconsistent performance.
Lacy joined the Packers as a promising athlete. He was even named as the offensive rookie of the year in 2013. However, since then, his performance has started to dip.
In 2015, he lost his starting position after reaching 260 pounds, which became an issue for McCarthy because he knows that the weight gain will prevent Lacy from being an effective running back.
"He's got a lot of work to do," the coach said in January. "His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. He cannot play at the weight he played at this year."
This then motivated Lacy to lose weight in preparation for the 2016 NFL season. He was able to accomplish this and even became an integral part of the Packers' offense during the first five games of the year, before he was sidelined by his ankle injury, according to NFL.com.
However, even though he was averaging 5.07 yard per carry and regained his ability to break tackles, his footwork was still off. In other words, he was still not able to return to his perfect playing from when he was still a rookie. This could be the reason why McCarthy doesn't want to remove Lacy from injured reserve.