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Packers notes: Bum ankle can't stop Lacy

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Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
December 9, 2013

GREEN BAY—Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy was late getting back out on the field in the second half.

It took that long for him to get his ankle taped to the point where he could play again.

“I just got it retaped tighter and spatted tighter so I could take away some of the pain,” said Lacy, who finished with 20 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. “It was stationary (his ankle), but it took away as much pain as it could and I tolerated the rest of it.”

Lacy appeared to injure his ankle on the last play of the first half and could be seen limping off the field. When James Starks came out as the starter in the third quarter and Lacy was nowhere to be seen on the sideline, it looked as if his day might be done.

But Lacy came out of the tunnel a few minutes later and started doing short sprints and cutting moves on the sideline in front of team physician Patrick McKenzie. On the Packers’ third drive of the second half, he returned and played most of the snaps after that.

He was not the same back but tried to give whatever he had.

“I had to improvise, I had to chop my feet just so I don’t put as much pressure on it as I normally would,” he said.

Lacy was a first-half workhorse, carrying 11 times for 32 yards and a 1-yard touchdown and catching two passes for 22 yards. In the second-half, he worked just as hard to get every yard and kept taking blow after blow before going down.

He carried nine times for 33 yards in the second half and caught one pass for 3 yards.

Asked how he was able to keep it going despite the sprained ankle, he said it’s just something he doesn’t think about.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “I just do it. As long as I can go out and play, no matter how my body feels, if I can go out and I can continue to play, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Lacy’s numbers weren’t great, but he definitely set the tone with his physical style. On one play, at least six Falcons tried to get him on the ground and he just refused to go down even after the whistle was blown and had a couple of guys on his back.

“It’s just a mind thing,” he said. “Even though they’re trying to come in and hit me, I just want to send a message that I’m not going to go down. I’m going to try to try my best to stay up.”

How much Lacy is affected by this injury won’t be known until at least Monday if not later in the week. The Packers will need him as they move through their must-win December.

Lacy’s touchdown run was his seventh this season and breaks the franchise rookie record Samkon Gado held since 2005. Lacy’s 227 carries this season are the most by a rookie in franchise history also.

Starks chipped in 19 yards on seven carries, and quarterback Matt Flynn 28 on six as the Packers barely broke the 100-yard mark, finishing with 33 carries for 112 yards (3.4 average).

Just for kicks

The kick Falcons Paul Worrilow put on the ball late in the first half might well have been to the Packers’ teeth.

Flynn’s pass up the middle was deflected at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Peria Jerry and then kicked up in the air by Worrilow into the arms of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. As Packers players stood around watching, Weatherspoon returned the ball 71 yards for a touchdown.

“That interception we gave up, that’s Packer football the last four or five weeks,” cornerback Micah Hyde said. That’s just crazy.”

The Packers didn’t pursue Weatherspoon, figuring it was a dead ball, but they should not have assumed anything.

“I thought I heard a whistle,” guard Josh Sitton said. “It was just one of those freak plays.”

Close call

Both Jarrett Bush and Davon House came within a whisker of touching punter Tim Masthay’s masterful 62-yard punt at the 1-yard line.

Both were running down field at full speed when Masthay’s punt just stopped on the 1-yard line. Their first inclination was to touch it either to down it at the 1 or keep it from rolling into the end zone, but when it just stopped, they had to do all they could to keep from touching it.

“That was a great punt by Tim,” said safety M.D. Jennings. “I was telling House, you and JB have to be the luckiest guys alive. I don’t know how they stayed off the ball like that.”

Asked about House’s maneuver to avoid the ball, Jennings said, “It looked like some Matrix-type stuff when Davon tried to get away from the ball. They always say football is a game of inches. Right there it was.”

Heated up

Linebacker A.J. Hawk looked as if his head was going to explode after center Joe Hawley dived at his knees away from the pile.

Hawk saw him coming at the last second and jumped to get out of the way, but he said if he hadn’t, he probably would have blown out his knee. He was furious with Hawley and made it known to everyone.

“It could have been one of those plays that was my season,” Hawk said. “But I talked to him afterward, and he said it wasn’t intentional.”

Hawley, however, said something to Hawk after the play because that’s when Hawk got really mad. Hawk wouldn’t say what the discussion was about.

“I don’t think he was miked up, so we’ll never know,” he said. “I would equate it to one of those situations where something happens and you black out and start saying stuff and don’t hear what anybody else is saying. That was the case.

“I was still (conscious) enough to know I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. I wasn’t going to punch him. I wasn’t going to head butt him. I had enough sense to at least not do that.”

Newhouse inactive

It appears that tackle Derek Sherrod has moved ahead of Marshall Newhouse as the team’s top backup tackle.

Newhouse was inactive for the first time this season. He had been playing poorly, but the Packers weren’t ready to put Sherrod—who is coming back from a leg injury that sidelined him 22 months—into a position where he might have to play.

He saw a little bit of action at tackle against Detroit last week but would have gone in as a starter if something had happened to David Bakhtiari or Don Barclay.



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