James Starks

Coming into training camp, James Starks was the Green Bay Packers clear-cut No. 1 running back. Now, there seems to be a question of whether he’ll even make the team.

Starks has already been ruled out of Thursday night’s game with a turf toe injury. It doesn’t look like he’ll be able to return to action anytime soon and Cedric Benson now appears to be the Packers No. 1 guy.

When he was healthy, Starks wasn’t overly impressive during training camp. Throw in the fact that he’s always injured — Starks missed three games last season after missing most of his rookie campaign — and it’s clear that Starks’ future isn’t.

The Packers two most viable options are as follows. They can release Starks and go with Brandon Saine and/or Marc Tyler behind Benson and Alex Green or they could put Starks on the physically unable to perform list. In the latter scenario, Starks wouldn’t be able to play for the first six weeks of the season, but he’d take someone’s roster spot when he returned (unless he was released at that time).

What this really boils down to is keeping an injury-prone guy with potential vs. a young prospect with less upside who will probably make more regular contributions on the field.

If Starks could stay healthy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but he hasn’t proven he can.