Packers 2016 Recap: RB Eddie Lacy
- Appeared in 5 games
- 71 attempts, 360 yards, 5.1 yards per attempt
- 4 receptions, 28 yards
- Pro Football Focus: 77.3/100
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met
Analysis: Offseason Weight Loss Moot Point After Ankle Injury Ends Season
There are closely guarded secrets, like Coca-Cola’s formula or what the U.S. government is hiding in Roswell, New Mexico’s Area 51. And then there are closely guarded secrets like the weight of Packers running back Eddie Lacy.
Days after the season-ending loss in the playoffs to Arizona, head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, “Eddie Lacy has a lot of work to do. I think I'm stating the obvious. His offseason last season was not good enough. He has to get it done. He cannot play at the weight he did this year."
Almost 90 days later when the Packers offseason program began, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reported the running back came to Green Bay 15 to 18 pounds lighter. The goal, reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, was to get as close to the 231 pounds he weighed at the combine in 2013.
Neither McCarthy or Lacy confirmed the running back’s exact weight by the start of the regular season. Anecdotally, he looked more powerful and showed more burst in the preseason. 2016 marked the fourth and final year of Lacy’s rookie contract. He needed a big year to earn the big contract it looked like he was in line for after his first two seasons in the league.
Momentum started to build for Lacy in a Week Three contest against the Detroit Lions. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark rushing for the first time since December 2015 and averaged over six yards per carry for the seventh time in his career. The following week against the Giants, Lacy rumbled for 81 yards on 11 carries and once again averaged over six yards a carry.
Then, during the Packers’ 30-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, he suffered an ankle injury. Lacy rushed for a season low 3.8 yards per carry on a season-high 17 attempts. It was just the start of a rough week.
Four days after the Cowboys game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported Lacy had gained the weight he had lost in the offseason and was once again playing between 255 and 265 pounds.
Initially, many expected Lacy to return later in the season after his ankle healed from surgery. The weeks wore on, and fans who were paying close attention to the transaction wire knew a 2016 return from Lacy was not in the cards. Green Bay picked up three running backs throughout the season – Knile Davis in a trade, Don Jackson from the practice squad, and Christine Michael off of waivers.
McCarthy and Thompson have a hard decision to make on whether or not to offer Lacy a contract in the offseason. On one hand, Lacy averaged a career-high 5.1 yards per carry in 2016. On the other hand, he has now appeared in only 17 contests over the past two seasons.
The final two months of the season were a tumultuous time in the Packers’ backfield. Running backs Knile Davis and Don Jackson were expected to immediately replace Lacy, but neither made a strong impression. When healthy, James Starks showed he’s on the wrong side of 30 years old. Ty Montgomery’s position change to running back gave Green Bay a boost, and mid-season waiver pickup Christine Michael has shown enough to warrant an invitation next season.