Back in early November when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was healthy and the team’s record was a winning one, the Packers talked about making sure running back Eddie Lacy stayed around 20 touches a game after seeing him above that number in the four previous weeks.
Rodgers got hurt in the next week, though, and Lacy touched the ball 48 times in the next two weeks as Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien took over at quarterback. Lacy’s carries dropped considerably against the Giants last weekend, but so did his production as he ran 14 times for 27 carries in Green Bay’s loss.
Running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, who is often the one talking about cutting Lacy’s workload, said he doesn’t think that was a result of overwork or a result of Lacy hitting the rookie wall as the season nears the final stretch.
“It happens more mentally than physically, I think, just the beatings and you start to drag a little bit,” Van Pelt said, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We always address it, we talk about it. We’re in Week 14 of games played, including the preseason, so his season’s over in college. I don’t see that he’s hitting the wall at all.”
The rookie wall has seemed to be less of an issue than the defensive wall that opponents have erected after Rodgers’ injury. They won’t let Lacy beat them when Tolzien is at quarterback and the Packers haven’t been able to succeed enough on offense to make them change their approach. If the same holds this weekend, the Packers will have a losing record and Lacy’s season will be on track to end before his alma mater’s next trip to the BCS championship game.