The Green Bay Packers engaged in a very physical contest on Thursday Night Football with the Seattle Seahawks to kick off the 2014 NFL season, and as a result, running back Eddie Lacy's status is uncertain after suffering a possible concussion, via the team's official Twitter account:
Green Bay Packers @packers
#Packers RB Eddie Lacy being evaluated for a concussion, return questionable. #GBvsSEA2014-9-5 03:13:50
After the game, head coach Mike McCarthy received the test results and announced Lacy did suffer a concussion, via Bleacher Report's Jason Cole:
Jason Cole @JasonColeBR
Eddie Lacy concussion was confirmed #Packers2014-9-5 03:54:43
Lacy's second year in the NFL is just getting started after his impressive 1,178-yard, 11-touchdown performance in 2013 earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Unfortunately, his debut was short-lived after rushing 12 times for 34 yards.
James Starks came in Lacy's absence and fared well against Seattle's vaunted defense, carrying seven times for 37 yards and adding two receptions for 11 yards. Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard tweeted his thoughts on the running back's performance:
Stephen Hayes @stephenfhayes
James Starks is easily game MVP for the #Packers tonight so far. Huge effort, very effective.2014-9-5 03:08:23
Many fantasy owners drafted Starks as a handcuff to Lacy; however, he's only owned in 63.6 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues and will certainly be a hot commodity in the near future.
Last season, Starks proved he can be a very efficient ball-carrier in Green Bay's offense. In 13 games, he rushed 89 times for 493 yards—an average of 5.5 yards per carry—and scored three times. He also added 10 receptions for 89 yards and another touchdown.
The Packers offensive line didn't look efficient on Thursday night against Seattle, and they'll have another difficult test in Week 2 against the New York Jets—the third-ranked run defense in 2013. With that contest 10 days away, Lacy has plenty of time to recover; however, Starks' fantasy owners should keep a keen eye on the situation, as the fifth-year running back did nicely to create his own yardage in Week 1.
Should Starks get the start in Week 2, consider him a solid option as an RB2.