Since being drafted by the Packers in 2013, Eddie Lacy has had a tumultuous career. He gained 1,000 yards rushing in his first two seasons, before suffering a steep drop-off in 2015. In 2016, his numbers took an even larger hit, and he was let go by the Packers. The Seattle Seahawks picked Lacy up, and he hasn't played much. He appeared in one game, getting five carries for three yards, before However, it hasn't been his lack of production that's haunted Lacy, but rather,
Lacy's love of food -- particularly "China food" -- has become a defining part of his character on the internet. People have come up with all sorts of nicknames for Lacy, who has admitted that staying at an ideal weight has always been a challenge for him. He never had to try to stand out until he went to Alabama, where it immediately became apparent that life would be different. In an interview with ESPN's Kevin Van Valkenburg, Lacy opened up about his struggles with weight and how his life has changed from year to year.
"It was the worst year of my life," Lacy said of his first year in Tuscaloosa. "But it just shows if you push your body, it responds. For four years, you have somebody telling you what to do, make you as big as you can, as strong as you can, as fast as you can be. They try to make this bionic person, basically. But it just shows if you push your body, it responds."
When he went to the pros, things changed. After his first practice with the Packers, Lacy says he thought to himself "this is all we have to do?" However, in the NFL the situation continued to deteriorate. After his down third year, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy criticized Lacy's production and his effort to maintain his weight. "He's got a lot of work to do," McCarthy said. "His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. He cannot play at the weight he played at this year."
Lacy dropped 22 pounds heading into the next season, picking up P90X, but an ankle injury derailed his timeline.
"I literally couldn't do anything for months," Lacy says. "I obviously just got bigger. I can't do nothing about it. All you can do is lay down and eat. What are you supposed to do?"
But the internet, of course, doesn't care about why a person looks like they do.
"I could pull up my Twitter right now and there would be a fat comment in there somewhere," he said. "Like I could tweet, 'Today is a beautiful day!' and someone would be like, 'Oh yeah? You fat.' I sit there and wonder: 'What do you get out of that?'"
Lacy also bemoaned the publicity of weigh-ins, as the best-case scenario is a small bonus, whereas the worst case is more fodder for internet trolls. "I hate that it has to be public," he said. "Because it's like, if you don't make it, what happens? Clearly you don't get the money, but whatever. I don't really care about that. It's just more the negative things that are going to come."
The other issue is the steadfast nature of an online reputation. "You just can't shake it," Lacy said. "And no matter what, you can't say nothing back to them. You just have to read it, get mad or however it makes you feel, and move on. I could be 225 and they'd still be like, 'You're still a fat piece of s -- .'"
There's no question that Lacy wants to "get better," but it obviously isn't that simple. Weigh-ins have become a bit of a norm for players that are a bit heftier. Whether or not they have to be as public as they are is another discussion. As for his time in Seattle, Lacy may have trouble seeing touches. If Chris Carson keeps playing like he did in Week 2 and Thomas Rawls comes back healthy, that would leave Lacy as the odd man out. Whether or not he can revitalize his career, success heals all wounds with fans. Whether or not that's the case with Lacy can only be determined with time.