It’s been a turbulent past couple of months for Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy, who went from a sure-fire first-round prospect to late second-round pick due to concerns about a toe injury. Despite his lingering health issues, the Packers gambled on Lacy in hopes that he could develop into their starting running back.
The Packers took out an insurance policy, though, when they drafted another running back, Johnathan Franklin, in the fourth round. Their decision to double-dip the running back pool brought up questions as to whether or not Green Bay was sold on Lacy as a long-term option.
As we all know, injuries have always plagued the Packers at running back, so their concern is warranted.
With training camp just a ways down the road, Lacy will get his opportunity to prove that his toe won’t prevent him from earning the Packers starting ball-carrier gig.
In order to win the starting job, Lacy will have to fend off Franklin, DuJuan Harris, Alex Green, James Starks and Angelo Pease during training camp. While it’s far from the toughest running back competition in the NFL, three of them have starting experience for the Packers and will not let the job go to a rookie without a fight.
With that being said, from a physical standpoint, Lacy has the leg up on the competition. With tremendous power and sneaky explosiveness, the former Alabama star has the well-rounded running style that NFL teams covet in feature backs. He showed how dominant he could be with the Crimson Tide – just watch the 2013 National Championship game – and now it’s his turn to impress the Packers when training camp rolls around.
In the end, how Lacy’s time with the Packers plays out will depend largely on whether or not he can stay healthy. If his toe truly is healed, the second-rounder shouldn’t have too much trouble putting away the No. 1 running back job during training camp and the preseason.
The Packers are in for a big season offensively if Lacy pans out. The presence of a stable running game should take some of the weight off Aaron Rodgers’ shoulders and keep Green Bay from becoming one dimensional. Only time will tell if Lacy and his toe are up to the task.