Packers' Training Camp Battle - Running Back: Lacy Taking Over Early

USA TODAY Sports

With Eddie Lacy's impressive performance during Green Bay's Saturday Family Night, the chase to be the rookie running back's backup may be the more compelling story line.

Well, that was fast.

No, I'm not writing of how quickly it took for the Packers' walking wounded list to start growing in 2013, I'm referring to the ascension of one Green Bay running back to the de facto starter position, lining up behind MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Despite a lot of the negative reports about his combine and pro day leading up to the draft, as well as an--ahem--"unflattering" photo taken of him during practice last week, rookie Eddie Lacy was not only the most impressive running back at the Family Night scrimmage on Saturday, he may have been the standout player overall for Green Bay.

Rumbling for 65 yards on just eight carries (including 16-yard and 19-yard runs), Lacy clearly separated himself from the rest of his backfield mates. At least one report from training camp Tuesday even stated that the Packers coaching staff was already rewarding Lacy for his display Saturday night. With Lacy being the back that Green bay is most invested in, he already had the easiest path to getting the lion's share of carries this year. Now it appears that all of the other cubs will just be fighting for scraps.

While James Starks started the scrimmage, the Packers clearly know what they have in him: a violent, upright runner with poor vision for the hole who struggles to stay healthy. The fourth-year Buffalo product has had a good camp thus far, but still is not even guaranteed a roster spot at this point.

Lacy's fellow rookie, Johnathan Franklin, really underwhelmed Saturday night. The UCLA runner was only able to turn his seven carries into just 17 yards. He struggled to break any tackles, and is merely hoping for third down work right now. The fact that head coach Mike McCarthy has had him returning kicks so much is yet another ominous sign of his 2013 contributions (or lack thereof).

A forgotten man in the Packers' backfield has been Alex Green. Now with a full year under his belt since tearing his ACL, Green has said he feels fully healthy, and not rushed back like he felt coming into last season. Yet he has not done anything to warrant significant snaps this year so far, and he also faces the prospect of being cut. A report that Green may have even joined Starks on the trade block in the off season doesn't speak too highly of his future in Lambeau anyway.

That just leaves the player that the Packers listed as the starter on their opening depth chart--2012 darling DuJuan Harris. For some odd reason, McCarthy placed Harris' name as the starter while also stating he is going to miss much of the preseason with a bum knee. Don't you just love coach speak? Kidding aside, until Harris returns and shows something, his roster spot is up in the air.

And for you Angelo Pease fans out there, I can't see him on the 53-man roster at all to begin the season. He seems practice squad-bound, but with the Packers' running backs dropping like Spinal Tap drummers over the past couple of years, Pease could still be meaningful at some point in 2013.

With all of that said, this job is clearly Lacy's to lose. Everyone else in the backfield is just playing for second.

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