GREEN BAY – The last running back in Christine Michael’s cleats lasted two weeks in Green Bay. General manager Ted Thompson didn’t want to forfeit a precious seventh-round draft pick, so the revolving door that is NFL roster spots turned for Knile Davis.
From the start, Michael’s shelf life with the Packers figured to be longer. For one, the Seattle Seahawks released him. There was no conditional draft pick attached to his acquisition.
After starter Eddie Lacy was officially ruled out for the rest of the season Wednesday, Michael stands to remain with the Packers at least through the final six games. His role will start to take shape this week, Michael’s first as part of the Packers’ game plan.
“Definitely running the ball,” Michael said. “Running the ball, they have good guys up front. I love the running scheme that they have. Just putting one foot in the ground and getting upfield, breaking some arm tackles and just trying to get this run game going along with Ty (Montgomery) and (James) Starks.
“They run the ball downhill, man. Of course, having Eddie Lacy and Starks in the backfield all these years, those guys just get bloody. They’re downhill, physical. Offensive line is physical. They’re just getting after it, man.”
Michael was inactive Sunday when the Packers traveled to Washington. Given three days of preparation with a new offense, Michael acknowledged it would’ve been “definitely difficult” to contribute. He expects no such difficulties this week.
While it’s unlikely Michael will be a workhorse running back – or even produce to the standard Lacy set – he has run the football this season better than anyone else on the Packers’ active roster.
Michael still leads the Seahawks in rushing with a career-high 469 yards this fall, despite entering his second week in Green Bay. He also has six rushing touchdowns this season, including a pair of games with two rushing touchdowns.
The Packers' running backs collectively have zero rushing touchdowns in 10 games.
"He’s yet to be seen exactly in this offense," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said, "but what he’s done in other offenses has been pretty spectacular. I mean, he’s scored six touchdowns this year, which obviously would put him first on our squad. He’s a change-of-pace back, very quick, very athletic, and he’s happy to be here. I think he’s just looking for an opportunity.
"Obviously a guy of his talent wasn’t on the street for that long, just a couple hours until he was claimed. But I’m excited about getting him out there."
In hindsight, the clock was ticking on Davis as soon as the Packers traded for him. Michael will benefit from expected patience, the chance to grow into a role. But he doesn’t want to wait.
Michael said he doesn’t yet know how large his role will be Monday night in Philadelphia, but he’s ready for anything. His last game came Nov. 13, giving Michael a 15-day break between kickoffs.
“It’s definitely exciting, man,” Michael said. “I’ve been out for going on two weeks now. Definitely anxious, excited. I feel like I’ve got a lot of stuff built up, but I’m definitely going to keep a good mindset and just release it on the field on Monday. Just get after those Eagles.”