Bye week offers breather for Lacy, other sore Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) A lack of carries for Eddie Lacy with the Green Bay Packers isn't necessarily solely tied to how the running back feels after he sprained his right ankle earlier this season.

Yes, Lacy is playing hurt, coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, but most of rest of the team is, too.

The upcoming bye week offers a much-needed break for Lacy and other sore Packers.

''He's beat up, this week will help him,'' McCarthy said, though adding, ''I don't see conditioning as an issue.''

Lacy got just four carries for 3 yards in the 27-20 win on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. James Starks, normally the backup, got the start and made quick impressions with a 5-yard touchdown off a shovel pass and 65-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Starks finished with 10 carries for 112 yards. Lacy said after the game he wasn't limited, though he thought he might have a reduced role.

''When Starks started off and he comes out with a big run right out of the gate, it's hard to shut that down,'' Lacy said Sunday. ''You want to keep going and get what you can get out of it, and he kept rolling.''

The distribution in carries isn't tied to what happens in practice, McCarthy said. At the same time, the veteran Starks has long been a trusted backup in Green Bay, and coaches like the way he has been running.

Starks offers more of a threat outside the tackles than the bruising Lacy.

''James Starks is an outstanding running back, so we want to be a one-two punch,'' McCarthy said.

McCarthy has mentioned in the past how he has wanted to get Starks more touches.

When healthy, Lacy has received the majority of carries since he arrived in Green Bay in 2013. But the third-year back left the 27-17 win over Seattle in Week 2 after spraining his right ankle, a type of injury that has also bothered Lacy in his previous two seasons.

Lacy hasn't missed a game this year. He has played much of the time since the latest ankle injury with a heavy tape job around his right foot.

''At this point, I'm not really interested in running one of my running backs 20-25 times in a game, I don't think that's the best thing for us,'' McCarthy said.

It's worth nothing that Lacy has tended to finish seasons strong. His physical style is suited for cold-weather football.

The easygoing Lacy isn't voicing concern about his carries. The immediate focus is on the bye week.

''It's definitely 6-0, use this time to press the reset button, refocus, relax and come back and start all over again,'' Lacy said.

NOTES: McCarthy said WR Ty Montgomery was feeling better after leaving the Chargers game with a sprained left ankle. ... WRs Davante Adams (ankle) and Randall Cobb (shoulder), and S Morgan Burnett (calf) are among key players who should benefit from the bye week. ... The victory over San Diego was McCarthy's 100th in his 10 seasons as head coach.



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