GREEN BAY — Teammates knew what Eddie Lacy was battling, but it was apparent from the start that the Packers’ running back wasn’t going to let his ankle stop him.
With James Starks out with a knee injury, the weight of the Packers’ running game was placed on Lacy’s shoulders and he responded with a gritty performance against the Cowboys.
Lacy finished with 17 carries for 65 yards, including a 25-yard carry on the Packers’ first offensive series to set up an eventual 37-yard field goal by Mason Crosby.
“I knew it was going to be a rough ride coming in here with the number of personnel groups and the health of Eddie Lacy,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “I thought Eddie did a heck of a job in giving us as many carries as he could.”
The Packers used more spread formations to help alleviate some of the pressure on Lacy with second-year receiver Ty Montgomery taking a few snaps out of the backfield.
Otherwise, the Packers mostly turned to Lacy, who was limited in practice this week after injuring his ankle at the start of the second half in last week’s 23-16 win over the New York Giants and not returning.
“I know he was hurting pretty bad,” right guard T.J. Lang said. “I don’t know what his final numbers were, but it seemed like he did have a couple spark plays for us there, bust out a couple runs and got us going a little bit on the ground.
“The running game was just a little up-and-down today, not as consistent as we have been and we’d like to be. So we’ve got to take a look at that as well, clean some stuff up, but I thought Eddie gave us a pretty good spark for the limited snaps that he played.”
Career day: Montgomery not only stepped up to take a few snaps for Lacy, but he also helped fill a void in the passing game when receiver Davante Adams was being evaluated for a concussion.
In the end, Montgomery’s 10 catches for 98 yards were career highs in both categories, though a fumble on the Packers’ final offensive possession left a bad taste in his mouth.
“Turnovers. Take care of the football,” Montgomery said. “I know it’s short and sweet, but it’s true.”
Montgomery, who also added a 40-yard kickoff return, didn’t have a catch going into Sunday and had seen only 17 offensive snaps in the Packers’ first four games.
Still, his dual-threat capability is what made the Packers feel comfortable proceeding with only one natural tailback on the gameday roster.
“I thought Ty did a lot of good things,” McCarthy said. “I would have liked to get more of the run game going with him there. It wasn’t quite right, but it was good to get him the opportunities.”
Crosby stays perfect: Kicker Mason Crosby made all three of his field-goal attempts to improve to 10-for-10 on the season and 12-for-12 on extra points.
Crosby, who signed an extension with the Packers this offseason, is one of four kickers with at least 10 field-goal attempts without a miss this season.
That’s in spite of the Packers making a change with his holder in training camp after claiming former Tampa Bay punter Jake Schum on waivers.
“We’ve built a pretty solid relationship so far and trust each other,” Schum said. “It’s good to see he’s confident in my holding. I really wanted to come in here and do as much I can to make sure of that and make him feel as comfortable as possible.
“He’s been crushing it. He’s been doing a heck of a job, which is why he’s been in the league for so long.”
Schum only had one punting attempt on Sunday, but he made it count with a 47-yard effort that was downed at the Cowboys’ 3-yard line shortly before halftime.
It was a needed boost for confidence for the second-year punter, who was looking to bounce back after a tough outing last week against the Giants.
“I came back this week and really focused on certain things with technique and my approach on kicking,” Schum said. “I had a really good week in practice and was feeling pretty good. I finally got that one to stick and bounce my way.”
Stepping in: Rookie Jason Spriggs was used as a sixth offensive linemen early in the game, but he ended up finishing at right tackle after Bryan Bulaga left with a back injury.
It was the first extensive playing time the Packers’ second-round pick has seen since the regular season began.
“I thought it went OK,” Spriggs said. “There’s definitely a lot of things we need to work on and a lot of things I need to look at myself and work on, but overall I thought it went well.”
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