RB Eddie Lacy set for return to Green Bay, ponders whether to ‘Lambeau Leap’

Former Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy makes his return to Lambeau Field this weekend as the Seattle Seahawks come to town to open the 2017 season. And while Lacy doesn’t seem to have put much thought into what his return means, he has spent time pondering whether he should perform a Lambeau Leap if he makes it to the end zone with his new team.

“Honestly, I’ve been thinking about that for the past two days,” Lacy told the Seattle media on Thursday. “Part of me wants to, but I don’t want to get pushed down. I really don’t know how the crowd will react to that. Maybe I can find a small patch of Seahawk fans and do it there.”

In reality, Lacy’s return is a lot more than whether he’ll leap or not. Green Bay wanted the former second-round pick back this offseason, but he reportedly wanted to go elsewhere. It just so happened he ended up with a rival of the Packers that figures to be in the way of the organization’s effort to earn a fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history.

“I thought I would be back there,” Lacy said. “I was there for four years. I thought it would continue. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out like that and sometimes a change of scenery isn’t bad.”

It’s not clear how much Lacy’s decision to leave impacted what Green Bay did in the offseason, but it stands to reason the Packers wouldn’t have drafted three running backs in April if the man that ran for the 10th most yards in franchise history hadn’t bolted.

As for Sunday, the Packers are expecting a slimmed down and motivated Lacy. He earned three weight-related bonuses this summer and there are several more he can earn during the season. His weight was a constant story in Green Bay, with coach Mike McCarthy even making mention of it during his season-ending press conference in January of 2016. But in Seattle, the talk has been almost universally positive.

“During the time he’s been with us, all of the work he’s done has really been kind of an ascent,” coach Pete Carroll said this week. “He really hasn’t missed anything. He’s been great about his conditioning work and all that stuff. He’s done a fantastic job. He’s ready to play.”

Lacy earns additional $55,000 after meeting Seahawks weight incentive

SEATTLE — Former Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy weighed as much as 267 pounds, and after signing with the Seattle Seahawks, he’s met his latest benchmark.

Lacy’s one-year deal with the Seahawks included $385,000 worth of incentives for dropping some of that weight. Monday, he met his second of seven weigh-ins,  worth $55,000 each. He had to weigh less than 250 pounds to meet Monday’s requirement. His next weigh-in will reportedly happen in August.

The former Rookie of the Year struggled with weight issues during his final two seasons in Green Bay, but nagging ankle injuries likely contributed to his weigh gain. Prior to the 2016 season, Lacy worked with P90X creator Tony Horton to get back in shape.

Lacy missed 11 games in 2016 due to weight and injuries. Seattle has alternatives if Lacy can’t stay healthy, with a backfield of Thomas Rawls. Alex Collins, Mike Davis, CJ Prosise, and others.

Early games against Seattle and Atlanta highlight Green Bay’s 2017 schedule

We knew who and where the Green Bay Packers would play in 2017, and now we know the when after the NFL released its full regular-season schedule on Thursday.

Things get underway for the Packers on Sept. 10 against Seattle at Lambeau Field, a game that will mark the return of running back Eddie Lacy, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason. That’s followed by a trip to Atlanta for Sunday Night Football and a rematch of the NFC title game as the Falcons open their new stadium.

Overall, Green Bay will play five of their first eight games at home, including visits from Cincinnati on Sept. 24, a Thursday night tilt with Chicago on Sept. 28 and then the New Orleans Saints come to town on Oct. 22.

Coach Mike McCarthy’s team will finish the season playing four of their final six games on the road, including the season finale in Detroit on New Year’s Eve.

The Packers have five primetime games, including their game at Pittsburgh on Nov. 26, the first time they’ve visited the Steelers since 2009.

Here’s the full schedule:


Lacy reveals ankle surgery required 4-6 month recovery window

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In a podcast with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy revealed details of his ankle surgery, which held an estimated recovery timetable of 4-to-6 months.

“I messed up my deltoid and widened the bone on my ankle, so I had to get two screws, two wires and a plate to fix it because I messed up my deltoid ligament,” Lacy told Schefter. “That’s the longest thing to heal.”

Sunday marked the four-month mark in his recovery, in which time he’d been working out at the University of Alabama — his alma mater. He recently posted a video of himself doing pool-jogging exercises where he’d run against the water current.

“I’m going to try and go out and run, but if it’s not comfortable then I’m just going to continue doing what I’ve been doing. But by April, whenever I have to report, I should be able to go out and do everything.”

Whether or not Lacy will be retained remains to be seen. He played in just five games in 2016 before injuring his ankle Oct. 9 against the New York Giants. Lacy put up 360 yards this season and was unable to find the end zone. His estimated market value, according to Spotrac is $2.8 million per season.

while evident from coach Mike McCarthy’s season-ending press conference, the Packers appear to want Lacy to return next season. Lacy says discussions with his agent have been positive, and that the Packers have been “very vocal about having me back there.”

Green Bay adds running back Christine Michael off of waivers

For the second time this year, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has acquired a castoff from one of his former disciples.

The team announced Wednesday that they had claimed running back Christine Michael off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, whose personnel man, John Schneider, served under Thompson and former general manager Ron Wolf in Green Bay.

Michael ran for 469 yards and six touchdowns this year for the Seahawks, including a career-high 106 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. But he had fallen out of favor in recent weeks, and with preferred starter Thomas Rawls set to return, Seahawks let him go, in what some called a shocking move.

For Green Bay, the move makes perfect sense. With starter Eddie Lacy on injured reserve, backup James Starks still trying to regain his form following knee surgery and the trade for Knile Davis not working out, Michael gives the Packers a somewhat proven option in the backfield. The 26-year-old can work with Starks and converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery to help a running game that ranks 21st in the NFL.

Michael has rushed for 966 yards in his four-year NFL career after getting drafted by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2013 draft.

Green Bay placed running back Don Jackson on injured reserve to make room for Michael on the roster.

The Packers (4-5) travel to Washington (5-3-1) this Sunday.

Abbrederis and Banjo land on IR

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Adding to the injury woes of the Green Bay Packers was news that receiver Jared Abbrederis and safety Chris Banjo were placed on injured reserve Monday evening.

Abbrederis was listed as injured with a thigh contusion while Banjo has been dealing with a hamstring issue. They join cornerback Sam Shields and running back Eddie Lacy on IR but NFL teams are only allowed to bring back one player from injured reserve after eight weeks on the list. That’ll likely be Shields, whose week one concussion ended up being more troublesome than they expected.

Replacing Abbrederis and Banjo on the active roster will be receiver Geronimo Allison and defensive back Jermaine Whitehead.

Eddie Lacy heading to IR

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers will be without starting running back Eddie Lacy for an extended period of time. The Alabama product will be placed on injured reserve.

The roster move is in response to Lacy’s ongoing ankle injury, one that will reportedly require surgery. At this time, it’s unknown if the injury will keep him out for the entire year or if there’s a chance he’ll be eligible to return.

Lacy has 71 carries for 360 yards so far this season but hasn’t been able to find the end zone. Lacy is in the final year of his rookie-scale contract and is eligible for free agency in 2017.

Starks downgraded to OUT vs Cowboys

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers released an update to their injury report Saturday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s contest with the Dallas Cowboys. It included downgrading running back James Starks to “OUT” and the addition of cornerback Quinten Rollins to “QUESTIONABLE.”

Starks has been dealing with a knee injury and was held out of practice all week. Randall was a limited participant all week, joining Damarious Randall as members of the secondary dealing with groin issues.

If Lacy is unable to play or needs a rest, the emergency protocol is to use receiver Randall Cobb in the backfield. Ty Montgomery has also been getting reps in practice for such an occasion.

Injury report

S Chris Banjo (hamstring) | OUT

TE Jared Cook (ankle) | OUT

RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE

CB Damarious Randall (groin) | QUESTIONABLE

CB Quinten Rollins (groin) | QUESTIONABLE

CB Sam Shields (concussion) | OUT

RB James Starks (knee) | OUT

Packers 34, Lions 27: 2-minute drill

Game Balls

Offense: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers

After arguably the worst performance of his career, Rodgers came back firing on Sunday, owning an undermanned Lions secondary, throwing four touchdowns in the first half. His passer rating of 127.9 was his best since Sept. 28 of last year, and the first time he’s been over 100 in his last 14 games.

With Rodgers at the controls, the offense piled up 211 yards in the first half and 31 points. Though the two-time MVP lamented the disjoined nature of the second half in which they had just four possessions and gained 103 yards, it was a vast improvement over the performance in Minneapolis last Sunday.

Defense: Outside linebacker Nick Perry

The 1-year, $5-million deal Perry signed in the offseason to return to Green Bay is looking more and more like a steal for Green Bay. The USC product seven tackles, including a pair of sacks, two quarterback hurries and one pass defended. The effort was much needed with his counterpart, Clay Matthews, out with an injury.

Through three games, Perry has 3.5 sacks — the same number he had all of last year — and has been a force in the run game as well.

Special Teams: Mason Crosby

The Packers 32-year-old kicker remained perfect on the season, drilling both of his attempts. Despite a swirling wind, Crosby had no problems hitting from 36 and 46 yards. He’s now 4 of 4 this year.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think anyone gives a you-know-what if the offense is back or not. It’s about winning. And we got a win.”

— Rodgers when asked if a performance like this is good enough to say the offense is back after the struggles last week against Minnesota

In Case You Missed It

— Four defensive starters missed the game due to injury. Linebacker Clay Matthews, cornerback Sam Shields, safety Morgan Burnett and defensive lineman Letroy Guion.

— Green Bay lost tight end Jared Cook to an ankle injury in the second quarter. Cook was seen on crutches after the game

Blake Martinez needed to leave the game in the second quarter after stiches from a gash he suffered last week came undone. He was taken to the locker room, where he was stiched up, and then returned to the game.

— Making his first appearance at Lambeau Field since a playoff win in January of 2015, wide receiver Jordy Nelson grabbed six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Inside the Numbers

2 — That’s how many times Aaron Rodgers has thrown four touchdowns in the first half of a game during his career.

103 — That’s how many yards Eddie Lacy ran for on Sunday, the first time he’s been over 100 yards since Dec. 13 last year.

1-2 — That’s Matthew Stafford’s record against the Packers when he throws for at least 300 yards. He had 385 on Sunday.

205 — That’s how many yards wide receiver Marvin Jones had against a banged up Green Bay secondary. He’s the first opposing wide receiver to top the 200-yard mark since Julio Jones had 259 during the 2014 season.

What’s Next

The Packers (2-1) have a bye in Week 3. They’ll return to the field on Oct. 9 against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field.