Green Bay Packers: Breaking down the running back dilemma
The injury bug has officially hit the Green Bay Packers offense, specifically the backfield.
This past Sunday, the Packers were without backup running back James Starks, who was ruled out with a knee injury. Starks had arthroscopic surgery on the knee and is expected to miss several weeks.
Also, entering Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, Eddie Lacy was questionable dealing with an ankle injury. Lacy played in the 30-16 loss, but aggravated the injury during the game.
Lacy fought through the injury and rushed for 65 yards on 17 carries. Wide receiver Ty Montgomery was also featured in the backfield, but was not effective, only compiling six yards on three rushes.
On Tuesday morning, the Packers shocked the football universe and made a trade to acquire former Kansas City Chiefs running back, Knile Davis. This was the first in-season trade the organization has made dating back to 2010.
Davis was barely utilized in Kansas City and fell on the depth chart with the emergence of Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West. In addition, injuries and fumbling issues were another reason Davis’ role diminished.
This season he only has one rush for negative two yards and caught 2 passes for 14 yards.
In 2014, the former Arkansas Razorback had his best career season. He rushed for 463 yards and scored six times. He was also featured more in the pass game, hauling in 16 receptions for 147 yards and one score.
The trade came at the perfect time, because on Tuesday night, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Lacy would be out several weeks and his injury was more severe than just an ankle sprain. Rapoport also indicated Lacy would seek a second opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina.
Sources: The #Packers are expected to be without workhorse RB Eddie Lacy for several weeks. It's more than a sprained ankle.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 19, 2016
Clearly the Packers were concerned with Lacy’s status and that promoted them to make a move for a running back. Credit to the front office for having a sense of urgency and realizing that staying within the organization may not be enough.
At the same time, they should have activated practice squad back Don Jackson to the 53-man roster for Sunday’s game, to have at least have one healthy man at the position.
Instead, they forced Lacy onto the field, which may have caused further damage to his ankle and now they could be without him for some time.
Will Davis help the offense? Probably not, however the opportunity is there for the 25-year old to get his career back on the right track. The biggest issue is Lacy’s long-term health.
With the offense already struggling to find its identity, not having Lacy in the backfield makes the Packers offense completely one-dimensional.
Without him, the offense becomes even more predictable and puts more pressure on Aaron Rodgers to make plays, something he has struggled to do as of late.
The reality is, Davis isn’t enough and combination of Randall Cobb/Montgomery will only get the Packers so far. Do they need another running back, yes.
But, in the end if the Packers are going to get by it starts and ends with Rodgers. Here is the perfect opportunity for the two-time NFL MVP to wash away his last year of play and bring the Packers back to their dominance.
If he can’t, it will just be another wasted season in Titletown.
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