Both Eddie Lacy and Sam Shields are officially done for the 2016 Packer season. Lacy is an unrestricted free agent after the season and it’s hard to fathom GB offering anything than a short-term incentive-laden deal with low guarantee money and the largest workout bonus in the history of the NFL. But this is probably going to be an awesome Thanksgiving for Lacy so that’s something. This is also purportedly a deep RB class in the 2017 NFL Draft (I really like Christian McCaffrey and Royce Freeman).
Sam Shields is an alarming situation. I hope he has a support network around him that gives him good counsel on whether he can or should resume playing football again. I think it’s reasonable to wonder if Shields can play football again. This was his 5th confirmed football-related concussion.
When the Packers placed both top cornerback Sam Shields and lead running back Eddie Lacy on injured reserve in October, it appeared that the team would regain the services of one or the other later in the season. However, that opportunity ended Wednesday when the Packers used their single IR-return designation on rookie cornerback Makinton Dorleant.
The move comes days after Washington torched the Packers’ secondary to the tune of 375 yards and three touchdowns. While Dorleant has yet to play in a regular season game, he spent most of the offseason with the team and nearly earned a roster spot coming out of the preseason.
The Packers did not clarify as to whether Shields or Lacy could have returned medically had the team not used their return option on Dorleant. Shields suffered a concussion in the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars and spent several weeks on the inactive list before Green Bay placed him on IR. Likewise, Lacy appeared in five games before a severe ankle injury forced the team to move him off the 53-man roster.
With Lacy’s contract expiring after the year, the decision not to reactivate him likely ends his tenure in Green Bay. Similarly, though Shields’ deal keeps him with the team through 2017, the Packers could decide to part ways given how many games the cornerback has missed to concussions and other injuries over the past few seasons.
Lacy ends the season with 71 carries for 360 yards. Shields finishes with 3 tackles.