When the news broke that the Green Bay Packers had struck a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to bring running back Knile Davis to town, it wasn’t all that surprising. Backup James Starks was on the shelf for a few weeks after having knee surgery, while starter Eddie Lacy was seen limping more than running during the team’s Week 6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. While Lacy was battling through the injury, and expected to play moving forward, it seemed that Davis would be some relief for him. Apparently, that’s not the case, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Packers starter is also going to miss several weeks moving forward.
While it’s yet another brutal blow for the Packers, a team who hasn’t been able to catch much of a break with injuries over the past few seasons, it means the attention will now shift to Davis. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s capable of, especially after falling all the way to fourth on the Chiefs’ depth chart behind the likes of Spencer Ware, Jamaal Charles and Charcandrick West.
As shocking as it may seem, the injured Lacy has still been strong for the Packers to this point, averaging 5.1 yards per carry on the season. Unfortunately, the Packers have started the year just 3-2, and the offense hasn’t looked as good as the Aaron Rodgers-led offenses of the past that we’ve seen. Through the first six weeks, the Packers rank No. 17 in the NFL with 22.8 points per game and No. 25 in total yards per game at 331.8.
For Davis, he falls into a golden opportunity. The guy moves from being a player who saw a total of one carry for negative-two yards through four games with the Chiefs, to someone who could be looking at a featured role alongside one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. It’s easy to forget that Davis is only 25 years old, and there’s another key factor which may result in the young running back potentially putting up a few shocking performances.
Davis’ contract is up after the 2016 season, so he’ll be hitting the free agent market and is now in a prime spot to prove himself as a runner before that happens. Through 50 career games, Davis has rushed 233 times for 775 yards and 11 touchdowns. While he’s proven to have a knack for finding the end zone, he’s in a situation where he can improve that 3.3 yards per carry average, and potentially prove to some team in free agency that he’s able to take over some type of a reserve role at least.
Even better, maybe Davis can thrive in Green Bay’s offense and earn a longer-term job than what he has currently. Let’s also not forget that Lacy’s contract is up with the Packers after this season and unless he’s able to come back and make a statement with his play; the team could very well opt to move on from the 26-year-old running back. While they attempt to figure out the long-term answer, maybe Davis can help hold them over, or even prove that he’s capable of playing a big role with the Packers.
Only time will tell, but the pairing is interesting, to say the least.