The Eddie Lacy news has gone from bad to worst in the past week. The Green Bay Packers star running back suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago and struggled to grind his way through it during a week six home loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Following the game, the Packers were unsure if Lacy would be ready for week seven. On a short week with a matchup on Thursday Night Football with the Chicago Bears awaiting, hesitance to shove Lacy back into a big workload on a bum ankle made sense.
As it turns out, Lacy’s injury was a lot more serious than originally thought. Even after being ruled out for week six, the team has learned that their star rusher needed ankle surgery and will be placed on injured reserve:
There is still slight hope that Lacy could be designated to return from injured reserve in eight weeks, but any foot/ankle surgery ca be problematic for a quick turnaround.
Green Bay acted fast earlier this week, as they swung a trade for Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis:
The team also promoted running back Don Jackson off of their practice squad:
Neither of these moves jump off the page, and when you add Lacy’s ankle injury to James Starks’ knee injury, the Green Bay backfield looks absolutely destroyed.
Davis and Jackson shouldn’t be written off before they even have a chance to be the successful replacement options the Packers are hoping they can be, but the fact that Green Bay seems intent on utilizing wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Randal Cobb out of the offensive backfield should be a serious red flag.
Now that we know how bad off the Green Bay running game is, the bigger red flag is how ill prepared the Packers are to make up for the huge losses.
Perhaps even more interesting is that Green Bay stood pat, despite not getting the results they wanted out of their backfield in 2015.
Now could be the perfect time for GM Ted Thompson to rectify that, by using these big injuries to explain away an even bigger trade or signing.
Trading for Knile Davis was a 1-2 week fix to add much-needed depth, but if the Packers are serious about winning, they need to make a big play.
Perhaps that has them talking to a retired Marshawn Lynch, plucking Karlos Williams off of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad or making a (bigger) trade for a more established rusher.
Several teams have amazing depth in their backfield, with top flight backups like DeAngelo Williams, Arian Foster, Reggie Bush and Chris Johnson wasting away on their respective teams.
Of course, given Green Bay’s ugly predicament, most of the teams that do have enviable running back depth may scoff at the prospect of trading their backup talent. Regardless, Ted Thompson hasn’t done enough to make up for the spot the Packers are in and he should be exhausting all possibilities to see if Green Bay can find themselves in a better situation.
This is devastating news for a Packers team that held the second best Super Bowl odds ahead of the 2016 season, per Bovada. Green Bay (+1200) somehow remains among the top-five teams in terms of Super Bowl odds even still, but it stands to reason that their chances at going all the way could drop sharply after the latest Eddie Lacy injury news.
Again, it’s not impossible that James Starks and/or Lacy return and Green Bay’s offense ends up being just fine. It’s also not crazy to think that Knile Davis or Don Jackson can’t step up and be just what the Packers needed on the ground.
None of this looks good, though, and the last thing a prospective title contender needs is to lose one of their star offensive players.
The Packers aren’t exactly a sinking ship at 3-2, but Eddie Lacy going down could be a stiff reminder that they’re not the best team in the NFC, much like several of the top betting sites thought they were earlier this summer.
Can the Packers rebound and fight their way through the Eddie Lacy injury? Yes, but unless they make a big move to counter it, it probably won’t result in a title in 2016.
That being said, Green Bay could quickly turn to a very appealing flier bet. Their run defense was the best in the league before last week and Aaron Rodgers is a tough guy to count out. Depending on how low their Super Bowl odds can dip, they could end up being worthy of a bet.
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