Perhaps after this we can finally stop teasing Green Bay Packers second-round draft pick Eddie Lacy over potentially eating a few too many cheese curds and start praising him for being the tough, bruising back he really is.
Lacy spent two seasons patiently waiting his turn at Alabama, first behind Mark Ingram and then Trent Richardson. When the program’s 2012 campaign finally rolled around, Lacy seized his chance, rushing for 1,322 yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns.
Those stats are easy to see, however. What most fans could not easily Google search was the fact Lacy put up a good amount of those numbers with a broken hand.
“I saw the crack in it on the X-ray but I didn’t think too much of it. I said, ‘I’ll play with it.’ You pretty much have to do it.”
Lacy suffered the broken hand on November 17, during a 49-0 blowout win over Western Carolina. He had surgery to have a metal plate and seven screws placed into his hand following the SEC title game, because the team had roughly a month to gear up for the national championship against the Irish.
The week following the Western Carolina game was Alabama’s annual grudge match against Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Without too many people knowing what Lacy was dealing with, the star back rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns – in just the first half.
“For practice that week they put a big Q-shaped thing on it,” recalled Lacy. “I really couldn’t use the hand but I could run and pretty much pass protect. When I got hit, I couldn’t feel it.
“Then by the time the game came I put my normal glove on and put a little covering over it. Sometimes it hurt, sometimes it was all right.”
The toughness he showed in playing through the pain will serve him well on the Frozen Tundra.