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Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy doesn’t expect his rib injury to heal this season, but he’s taken enough precautions to remain effective.

Lacy has appeared on the Packers’ injury report ever since their trip to the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 20. He hasn’t missed a game, but Lacy said his ribs have been painful. Of course, the nature of his position doesn’t help.

Each week, Lacy gets another round of abuse when he carries the football.

“It pretty much resets,” Lacy said. “I mean, it gets better during weeks of practice, because I get to rehab it a lot. But once the game comes, it goes back to square one.”

It appears Lacy’s ribs have affected his production. In the four games before his injury, the Packers running back rushed for 100 yards three times. Since then, he’s averaged 45 yards per game in the past four.

Still, Lacy has remained active on the game day roster. He’s had some important carries in the past month, including a 11-yard run on fourth-and-1 in Washington last week. On the next snap, Lacy rushed for 30 yards. His two runs prolonged a drive that ended with fellow running back James Starks’ 4-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, giving the Packers a lead they never surrendered.

Lacy's second-half production was especially impressive because, he said, his ribs took a painful shot while being tackled in the first quarter. He has a protective pad to shield his ribs from contact, something he’ll continue wearing it Saturday when the Packers travel to the Arizona Cardinals for their NFC divisional playoff game.

“It takes away from when I take shots there,” Lacy said. “It’s necessary.”

The Packers have no shortage of key players battling injuries. It’s been almost two months since they had their full, starting offensive line, which can hinder the running game. But Lacy said he needs to find a way to continue pushing through the pain.

“Because I feel it,” Lacy said, “you think about it. It’s mind over matter. It’s not going to go away. So I’ve just got to play with it.”

rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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