The news that running back Eddie Lacy would have ankle surgery and had been put on injured reserve should not have come as a shock. The Green Bay Packers went down the same road with receiver Ty Montgomery a year ago .
Montgomery suffered a high ankle sprain last year against the Chargers on October 18. After he continued to practice but failed to improve week after week, he finally visited a specialist in Charlotte in December. His agent then announced that the ankle sprain had healed but it caused cartilage damage that needed to be surgically repaired. The team placed him on injured reserve on December 21, he had surgery a week later and so ended his rookie year. That surgery was later described as consisting of “tight ropes inserted into his ligaments to hold them in place, a cartilage repair and a microfracture procedure on his talus (a bone between the heel and fibula and tibia).”
In 2013, Eddie Lacy battled a left ankle injury almost his entire rookie year with the Packers. Finally, he was held out of the week 16 game.
In 2014 and 2015, Lacy’s ankle held up, but he was knocked unconscious that year when the Redskins’ Brandon Meriweather hit him helmet-to-helmet (incurring a $42,000 fine). He had another concussion in the first game of 2015 and he pulled his groin in week 8, causing him to miss the next game.
This year, Lacy injured his left ankle in week 5 action against the Giants, causing him to miss half that game. Though he was back in the lineup the following week against the Cowboys, he was seen limping almost from the outset. He continued to play, getting 17 carries before he was mercifully taken out.
The Packers have seemed prone to rushing certain injured players back to practice or to game action in recent years.
In addition to the Montgomery example and to twice not allowing Lacy to rest a sprained ankle, the team returned Clay Matthews to action after having broken his thumb, only to have him re-fracture it again, ending his 2013 season. Examples of the Packers sending injured players into games abound.
Davante Adams, playing against the Seahawks, was carted off the field in week 2 of 2015 with an ankle injury – only to return to the field in the game’s second half. To no one’s surprise he re-aggravated the injury in the following game and was at less than full strength for several games thereafter.
Coincidentally, just hours prior to the news of Lacy needing surgery ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Lacy’s weight was back to between 255 and 265 pounds after his much-publicized offseason weight loss. We saw this happening as far back as August.
Lacy’s girth is also something that was noted earlier this week on the podcast.
Several outlets have speculated that the extra weight could have put more pressure or wear on the ankle, hastening Lacy’s demise. However, that seems foolish.
Overweight or not, Lacy was still averaging a robust 5.1 yards per carry this season.
Depending on the exact nature of Lacy’s surgery, it’s a fair bet that his season is over. As his contract is up at the end of the year, it’s also very possible – and regrettable – that fans saw him play his last down with the Packers last Sunday.