Rookie running back Eddie Lacy needs to step up. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
The Green Bay Packers announced Tuesday that they had lost starting running back DuJuan Harris to a season-ending knee injury. Rookie second-round pick Eddie Lacy was already expected to contribute to the team, but now his role could be even bigger.
Green Bay, projected to be one of the top teams in the NFL this season, can't afford to wait for Lacy to get used to the league, says one of his teammates.
ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky reports:
“(Lacy is) going to have to step up and probably have a larger role,” said left guard Josh Sitton. “He’s going to have to grow. He can’t be a rookie anymore.”
Lacy was a star for Alabama last season. He ran for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first season as the full-time starter. He had been behind Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson on the depth chart earlier in his career.
The Packers had wanted Lacy to split the running back job this season, and that could still happen, Demovsky reports. James Starks and Alex Green have a chance to carve out roles in the offense. Starks and Green were believed to be competing for one spot on the roster. Now, they may be competing to take carries.
“It’s a long year," coach Mike McCarthy told Demovsky. "You need ’em all."