The severity of Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy’s concussion is still unknown. He could be ready for Sunday’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals or he may be required to sit a couple games out. What is known is that James Starks can handle the starting role. With that being said, what should the Packers do once Lacy is healthy enough to return?
The opinions appear to be mixed, as some people believe Lacy should take a secondary role after Starks’ breakout performance. Meanwhile, others believe he still needs to be the every down back with Starks getting a few more carries than the team expected to give him.
There is no question Starks proved the doubters wrong with his career-high 132 rushing yards, which broke Green Bay’s 45-game streak without a 100-yard rusher. That does not mean the team abandons the game plan that they put together heading into the season. I could see why head coach Mike McCarthy might want to split the carries during the first game or two when Lacy returns. However, taking the ball out of Lacy’s hands throughout the season is something that cannot happen.
Lacy is a running back that will require 15-20 touches per game. The reason for this is because he needs to wear down the defense in order for the offense to succeed. Not to mention, Lacy has shown nothing but promise since he made his debut in the preseason. There is no reason to doubt his ability just because Starks had one solid game.
Do not get me wrong. Knowing that Starks is capable of plowing his way to a 100-yard rushing game puts a lot of fans’ mind at ease. With that being said, I still believe Lacy is a player that is capable of accomplishing the feat more times than not, even with an offensive line that is not known for being a group that excels at run blocking.
Simply put, Lacy is the back that must carry the load this season when he is healthy, regardless of what Starks was able to accomplish on Sunday.