Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged on Monday what’s been visible to the eye all season.
Eddie Lacy is larger than he was as rookie in 2013.
“I’m not going to get into guy’s weights,” McCarthy said. “I mean, I’ve never been asked a question about a guy’s weight. But I think players do get bigger in their career. But he’s bigger than he was as a rookie.”
While McCarthy wouldn’t elaborate on whether it’s affected Lacy’s performance on the field, it is clear Lacy returned to the team heavier this season. The third-year running back is listed at 5-foot-11, 234 pounds, though that number was closer to the 240-range earlier in training camp.
Whether it’s his sprained ankle, his conditioning or the Packers desire to keep him fresh, there could be a number of reasons behind Lacy’s diminished workload early on. What's certain is he didn’t start the last game before the bye against San Diego and received only six touches for 20 total yards.
This isn’t the first time Lacy’s weight has been called into question. Two years ago, the Internet blew up after a less-than-flattering photo of Lacy in practice surfaced during training camp. The topic also popped up during his slow start last year before he rallied in the second half of the season.
Although the Packers are eighth in the NFL in rushing, Lacy has been limited to 260 yards and one touchdown on 67 carries this season with his longest carry going for 16 yards. The decision to go with Starks against the Chargers proved to be the right one, as the veteran rushed for 112 yards and scored twice.
All indications are Lacy is fully recovered from his ankle injury, which he sprained in Week 2 against Seattle. His improved health comes at a good time with Starks sidelined with a hip injury he suffered against San Diego. His availability for Sunday is uncertain after not practicing Monday or Wednesday.
McCarthy said before the bye week he doesn’t have any interest in running Lacy 20 or 25 times this early in the season, but the Packers may need to lean on him if Starks can’t play the Broncos.
“He looks good, just watching him work out and watching his work Monday,” said McCarthy of Lacy. “Particularly in the individual stuff, that’s where you try to really stress each position, so I don’t think the injury is affecting him anymore.”