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James Starks Future with Packers Unclear

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.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox August 28, 2012

    Did Starks practice at all during Training Camp? If so, he’s not eligible for PUP, it’d be IR, roster, waivers, or trade…

    1. GreenAndYellow August 28, 2012

      thats true, and yes he did…so IR is the only option unless you just cut ties

  2. sup August 28, 2012

    if he can’t go on pup send him to IR.

  3. David August 28, 2012

    Those that want to… can return to the poll and not select the PUP option (as it isn’t avail).

  4. iltarion August 28, 2012

    Turf toe isn’t something that goes away in a couple weeks.

    Sterling Sharpe and Charles Woodson have played entire seasons with turf toe, but they aren’t running backs either. Plus, Starks has already shown that when he plays injured he does not play well.

    I have always been a James Starks guy, but this latest injury might be the last straw. The only reason I would say that you don’t cut him is because I have no faith in either Saine or Tyler. If you had a third back, besides Benson or Green, who was actually worth something, then I would have no problem letting Starks go.

    1. Abe Frohman August 29, 2012

      I agree with what you’ve said here, but would absolutely hate to see him in a Lions uniform and stay healthy.

  5. Kristofer from Oshkosh August 28, 2012

    Keep Starks! Put him on the PUP and let him get fully healthy and not rush him back, and then if he is not 100% after the PUP period then just put him on injured reserve and have him rehab for a full year. Even if he is at 99% after the PUP period, still put him on IR. This kid showed us what he can do in the Eagles playoff game during the Superbowl run. Keep this kid, but lets get him healthy since we now have the time due to now having Cedric Benson. Starks has NFL caliber feature back talent and the Packers recognize that. The Pack will do the right thing.

  6. Kevin August 28, 2012

    People need to read the rules. Starks practiced during training camp ans is therefore not eligible for the PUP. Beeblebrox and yellowandgreen are correct!
    With that said, I would like to see him go to IR if the coaches think he can ever pick up a blitz. If not, release him and draft a RB early next year. And hope the glimpses that we’ve seen of Benson are the real thing and he continues to be the ideal player for this team.

  7. RodgerDat August 28, 2012

    Jesus, everyone needs to relax. Its barely his 3rd season, he’s gonna be fucking awesome. We havent seen even close to what Starks is capable of.

  8. TyKoSteamboat August 28, 2012

    I believe that our system is built for a runner like Alex Green…i can’t wait to see him on Thursday night. Go Green…Bay