Green Bay Packers (1-1) rookie running back Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion against the Washington Redskins (0-2) on Sunday, and his status for Sunday's week three game on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) will be available by Wednesday, according to Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Lacy had one carry for ten yards in the Packers 38-20 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday before Washington safety Brandon Meriweather laid a helmet-to-helmet hit while pursuing the Packers' running back.
Later in Sunday's game, Meriweather led with his helmet again while pursuing Packers running back James Starks. It wasn't Starks, but Meriweather who suffered a concussion on the hit. "It was definitely helmet-to-helmet," McCarthy said Monday. "The Washington safety (Meriweather) led with his helmet on Eddie, same thing with James but a different result."
Meriweather is well known around the league as a head-hunter from the safety position since he was a member of the New England Patriots. Meriweather is best known for helmet-to-helmet hits on former Ravens tight end Todd Heap and Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Due to Meriweather's vicious hit on Heap in 2010, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would start suspending players for violent hits on unprotected players.
Even though Meriweather was never flagged for hits on Lacy and Starks, the league fined but decided to not suspend the hard-hitting veteran. "Officiating is not my cup of tea," McCarthy said. "We'll leave it up to the league office. I'm sure they'll have an opinion on both of those plays."
Nevertheless, Starks had a career day for the Packers on Sunday, rushing for 132 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. Starks was the first Packers running back since Brandon Jackson in 2010 (against the Redskins, ironically) to rush for 100 yards in a game. "I thought we played well up front," McCarthy said. "I thought James did a nice job on most of his reads. Offensively, the production speaks for itself; it was a good day for the offense."
On Monday, the NFL suspended Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson for one game after Goldson laid a helmet-to-helmet hit on New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles. The suspension from the league office comes one week after Goldson was fined $30K for a helmet-to-helmet hit on New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland. Goldson is widely regarded around the NFL as one of the league's most physical safeties, dating back to his first six years with the San Francisco 49ers.
COACH T'S PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
RB James Starks
Starks had a career day on the ground and looked like the running back who helped shoulder a load en route to the Packers' Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. In place of injured rookie Lacy, Starks made quite the case for the starting running back job in Green Bay. Thank goodness the Packers kept the physically gifted, stronger, and healthier Starks over Alex Green after training camp.
WR James Jones
Jones was targeted twice in Green Bay's season opening loss at San Francisco as he failed to record one catch. In Week 2, Jones was outstanding, leading all receivers with 11 receptions for 178 total yards. McCarthy calls Jones a "class act" kind of player as the veteran leader of the Packers' wide receiver bunch. If Jones can perform at least half as well in every game, defensive coordinators will have headaches trying to neutralize Green Bay's offense all season long.
CB Davon House
House also deserves co-Player of the Game honors with Starks and Jones. On defense and special teams, House made quite a difference for the Packers, recording two total tackles, one tackle for loss and Green Bay's lone sack against the Redskins. Even Coach McCarthy would agree with my selection, because after all, McCarthy gave House the game ball for his Sunday performance.
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