Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy notched his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season during Sundayâs 26-26 tie with the Minnesota Vikings, but the rookie out of Alabama was nowhere to be found for the majority of the overtime period.
Lacy left the field and headed to the locker room after the opening drive of the extra frame, which included two carries with goal-to-go, and later returned to the sideline but never to the game, with James Starks shouldering the load the rest of the way.
The sight of Lacy heading to the tunnel and then pacing the sideline had to be an uncomfortable one for most Packers fans, who have seen Lacy develop into a potential star during his first season in Green Bay. But after the game, Lacy let the fans know they have nothing to worry about.
Except they still kind of do, because, as it turns out, Lacy has asthma, and he wasnât playing because he couldnât breathe.
And it was especially bad on Sunday because of the weather, which featured sub-freezing temperatures that were unfamiliar to the Geismar, La., native, who joked that it’s "going to get worse" as the fall turns to winter and temperatures continue to drop.
Of course, youâd rather a running back was out on account of an asthma attack than, say, a knee injury or a concussion â the latter of which Lacy has already dealt with this season â but in Green Bay, where the weather tends to be especially unforgiving, an asthmatic football star is no laughing matter.
The Packers are in the midst of a tight race in the NFC North and will likely need to win the division to reach the playoffs. Green Bay plays two of its final five games at Lambeau and one on the road in chilly Chicago on Dec. 29.
If the effects of asthma were enough to keep Lacy out late Sunday, thereâs no reason to think it couldnât happen again in one of those three games. And for a team teetering on the edge of playoff contention with one offensive star already on the mend, the absence of a second could spell trouble for their postseason hopes.