GREEN BAY, Wis. -- During Eddie Lacy’s impressive rookie season, the Green Bay Packers running back has shown he can take a pounding and keep going.
It’s one of the attributes that has made him the NFL’s leading rusher since Week 5 with 755 yards -- 81 yards more than the next best rusher, Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins, during that stretch.
Take Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, for example. Lacy gained more than half of his 110 yards rushing after contact, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Among his 56 yards after contact was an impressive fourth-and-1 run in the fourth quarter. He was initially hit 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage yet still turned it into a 4-yard gain and a key first down on a drive that ended with a touchdown.
“In college, I was taught if you hit them before he hits you, the impact won’t be as bad,” Lacy said. “Even though it looks bad, it’s not bad as if you’re just sitting there waiting to take the hit. So that’s my mindset. To me, delivering the hit is not as bad as just taking it.”
But there is one thing that can stop him -- his asthma.
It caused him to come out of the game for a series in overtime against the Vikings. He said he has had it ever since birth, but it was the first time he’s ever had an attack during a game.
He said it only bothers him in extreme cold weather. Sunday in Green Bay certainly qualified. The temperature at kickoff was 19 degrees with a wind chill of 7.
Playing at Alabama, the Louisiana native never experienced a game that cold.
“It pretty much came out of nowhere,” Lacy said. “I’ve been in cold weather a bit, not cold like that, but cold enough and I had no problems with it, so it didn’t cross my mind at all.”
Lacy went to the locker room and got his inhaler, something he said he will continue to use to try to avoid another issue during a game.
“It’s definitely something we’re aware of,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I thought our staff handled it appropriately and took him in. He’s told our staff it’s nothing really that he’s concerned about it, but we’re definitely aware of it.”