GREEN BAY, Wis. Thomas Rawls’ latest of three years worth of injuries cleared the path for Eddie Lacy Reunion Day at Lambeau Field.
The Seahawks announced 90 minutes before Sunday’s kickoff Rawls was out for the opener because of a high-ankle sprain. That meant Lacy, a Packer from when he was the 2013 NFL offensive rookie of the year through January, was Seattle’s lead back on a gloriously sunny Sunday at Green Bay.
This was Lacy’s first game since October. Green Bay’s 1,100-yard back in 2013 and ‘14 injured his ankle five games into last season then had season- --and Packers-ending-- surgery that put a metal plate, wires and screws in Lacy’s ankle permanently. Green Bay let his rookie contract expire in January, making him a free agent. Seattle signed him in March to a one-year, prove-it contract.
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On game on, he got the change to do some proving, at his former proving ground.
This was Lacy’s first game since last Oct. 16, here at Lambeau Field against Dallas. He said this past week it took two preseason games to get over a mental block of testing his repaired ankle, but that he gained much more confidence in it over the final two exhibitions last month.
Rawls hasn’t played since two carries for 5 yards in the first preseason game Aug. 13. This is the third time in three NFL seasons Rawls has missed time because of an injury -- and second time for a hurt ankle. His breakout rookie season of 2015 ended in December because of a broken ankle. Rawls still hasn’t completed a full season as a lead running back since he was at Flint Northern High School.
Rawls’ absence Sunday elevated rookie Chris Carson’s role. The seventh-round draft choice who impressed in the preseason was essentially Lacy’s backup as an early-down runner. C.J. Prosise was ready to be the third-down back after overcoming a groin injury last month.
The rest of the Seahawks’ inactive players for Sunday: running back/kick returner J.D. McKissic (not as needed with Tyler Lockett playing his first game since breaking his leg in December), rookie safety Tedric Thompson, rookie safety Delano Hill, veteran linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) plus rookie guard Jordan Roos and tackle Isaiah Battle (extra offensive linemen).
The Packers had starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga out with a sprained ankle. Second-year man Kyle Murphy from Stanford started instead.