By ALEX GOLDMAN
The 2016 Green Bay Packers have had a tough time running the football. Before Wednesday, their leading rusher was Eddie Lacy who had tallied 360 yards on 71 carries. It’s already more than halfway through the season. And he hasn’t played in over a month because of injury.
Yikes. I’m not sure what aspect of that is worse, that the Packers highest rusher has only 360 yards midway into November, or that there hasn’t been anyone to pick up the slack in Lacy’s absence.
By comparison, Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott has surpassed that total just within the past three games.
The Packers rushing attack has been anemic this season, to say the least. Oh, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has more rushing touchdowns than do the rest of the Packers combined. Packers running backs, amazingly, have no rushing touchdowns this year. The Packers are the only team without a rushing touchdown by a running back.
It’s like that year where the Kansas City Chiefs went through a season with recording a receiving touchdown by a…receiver.
On Wednesday, the Packers looked for help and signed free agent back Christine Michael after he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks the previous day.
Sports media covered the acquisition thoroughly throughout the middle of the week, especially on ESPN.
ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky had three articles up on espn.com since news of the signing broke Wednesday.
His first article chronicled Michael’s transition from Seattle to Green Bay. According to Demovsky, Michael’s long flight was the easiest part of the transition. The Packers surely hope the more difficult part – learning the terminology of a new team – comes quickly to Michael. They need all the help they can get out of the backfield.
Demovsky’s second article covered comments made by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy concerning Michael’s checkered past. As for Michael’s prior issues, McCarthy had this to say:
“Those are all part of his past experiences,” McCarthy said. “He’ll come here, we have a way we do things, and he’ll be given an opportunity to do it.”
McCarthy added that he wasn’t going to rely on information from old scouting reports from college or his other NFL stops.
Finally, Demovsky asked the question every wants to know who’s interested in the Packers situation. “Can Christine Michael halt the Packers’ running back carousel?” was the title of the aptly named article.
That, of course, will be the question. Demovsky didn’t offer his own take, but continued to provide stats that underscore how putrid the Packers have been at running the football this season.
The answer probably won’t be known until the Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football over a week from now. Michael is unlikely to play this week against the Washington football team as his first day of practice was yesterday. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be comfortable enough with the offense, or that the coaches will be comfortable enough with him in the offense, by Sunday night.
One thing is for sure; the Packers hope he is the answer.
Update: ESPN Wisconsin reporter Jason Wilde expects RB Christine Michael to play Sunday in Washington.