Lacy & Shields done for season, possibly ever as Packers
By Tommy Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2:32 p.m. CST November 23, 2016
~GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers will use their designated-to-return option to activate rookie cornerback Makinton Dorleant from injured reserve, officially ending the season of two key players on IR: running back Eddie Lacy and cornerback Sam Shields.
Coach Mike McCarthy announced the decision in his Wednesday news conference.
“Eddie Lacy will be on IR for the season,” he said. “So will Sam Shields. We’re going to activate Dorleant today. He’s going to practice from the IR classification, designation, whatever the specific title of that is. It’s unfortunate for Eddie and it’s unfortunate for Sam, but based on all the medical information and the conversations to this point, that’s where we are.”
NFL teams are allowed to bring only one player back from injured reserve per year.
McCarthy said the decision to use the move on Dorleant was not made out of necessity, despite the Packers’ depth problems at cornerback. McCarthy said the decision not to bring Lacy and Shields back was based on medical reasons.
Lacy had ankle surgery in October and has been around the facility, but still was not putting weight on his foot as of a week or so ago. Shields is recovering from his fifth concussion.
“Once again, these are more medical decisions, and this is really a decision that’s been made from the input of our medical staff,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy was asked if he knew whether Shields would ever play again.
“I do not,” he said. “Really, the conversation with Sam, I know particularly mine with him is he needs to get healthy for himself and his family. That needs to be his focus and it is his focus. That’s what we’re focusing on.”
Lacy is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent in March.
His hopes of signing a big contract may be out of reach given he’s going to have to prove to teams he’s both completely healthy and in shape. It may be easier for the Packers to sign him to a lower-cost one-year deal, but Lacy is likely to test the market first.
Shields is in the third year of a $39 million deal. He is due $8 million in base salary, a $500,000 per-game roster bonus and a $500,000 workout bonus in 2017. The Packers would be able to gain $9 million in salary-cap space if he retire and would carry $3.125 million in dead money based on the remaining pro-rated portion of his $12.5 million signing bonus.
Dorleant won’t be a savior for the Packers’ secondary. He hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring in training camp. He was limited throughout camp because of the injury and while he played well when healthy, he’s an undrafted rookie who has zero NFL experience.
“He plays with great energy,” McCarthy said. “I liked his toughness. I thought he did some really good things on special teams. He was injured pretty much the whole training camp but fought through it and did some good things. It will be good to get him out there and see where he is.”
McCarthy said that starter Damarious Randall (groin surgery) would take part in practice on a limited basis Wednesday. He did not rule out the possibility that Randall would be able to play Monday at Philadelphia.
The Packers lost cornerback Demetri Goodson to a significant knee injury and are expected to put him on injured reserve. Dorleant would take Goodson’s spot on the 53-man roster.
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