Packers' Eddie Lacy runs for a touchdown during the first half
of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Thursday, Nov.
26, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY — Eddie Lacy is finally
getting the football. Now he just has do a better job of holding onto
After being demoted to the Packers' No.
2 running back spot behind veteran James Starks, Lacy has put together
the first back-to-back 100-yard rushing games of his career, gaining
100 yards on 22 carries at Minnesota and 105 yards on 17 carries
during the Packers' Thanksgiving night loss to Chicago.
For the struggling offense, he's been
the bright spot with one troubling exception: He's fumbled four times
in the past five games, including losing one against the Bears that
landed him back on the bench for the remainder of the first half.
"As a ball carrier, that's what
you don't want, especially when it turns into points for the other
team," Lacy said Monday as the Packers prepared for Thursday
night's game at Detroit. "It's something that you have to put in
the back of your mind because you don't want that to slow you down for
the rest of the season, but it's something that you don't want to
happen as a ball carrier."
While putting together back-to-back
1,100-yard seasons in 2013 and 2014, Lacy fumbled just four times. He
went 325 carries between the first fumble of his career, in the 2013
regular-season opener at San Francisco, and his next fumble, in Week 3
last season at Detroit. He then fumbled two more times last season.
Lacy's fumble against the Bears came at
the end of an impressive 15-yard run during the second quarter, giving
him 72 yards on 10 carries. He didn't see the field again for the rest
of the half and ended up getting only seven more carries (for 33
yards). He also had four receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown
during the first half, meaning 14 of his 21 touches and 106 of his 139
total yards came before his miscue.
"That's not the way you carry the
ball," coach Mike McCarthy said immediately after the game, and
he promised there would be a greater focus on ball security this week.
Lacy was carrying the ball away from his body on the play, which
allowed Bears safety Chris Prosinski to poke it out from behind.
"Anytime there's a fundamental
that is not performed, at practice you obviously heighten the emphasis
for it," McCarthy said. "Anytime it comes to taking care of
the football or taking the football away, the opportunities involving
the football, we need to be at the top of our game."
Lacy fumbled against San Diego on Oct.
18, at Denver on Nov. 1 and at Carolina on Nov. 8. He missed the first
Packers-Lions game on Nov. 15 with a groin injury before returning to
action at Minnesota, where he did not fumble.
As a team, the Packers have fumbled 13
times this season, losing four. During the McCarthy era, the Packers
rank No. 2 in the NFL in turnover margin at plus-93.
"There's only so many things you
can emphasize (in practice) that you want your team to reflect each
and every time you line up," McCarthy said. "(At) practice
each and every day, we spend a lot of time on taking the ball away,
takeaway drills, catching the football, handling the football, how we
carry the football, ball-security drills - so I think it definitely
reflects in our turnover ratio in my time here. ... So we need to do a
better job taking care of the football."
And that starts with Lacy.
"Ball security, it's always a
premium," Lacy said. "Whenever you're going to make a play
or you try to make a move, you try to put two hands on it. It's
something that you have be conscious and aware of."