GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Any hope that the Green Bay Packers would have their full complement of running backs available for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions was dashed Wednesday, when it became apparent the knee injury that James Starks sustained against Cincinnati would keep him out for multiple games.
“I would put him in the category of a couple of weeks,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
It’s another in a long line of injuries that have derailed the career of the fourth-year running back. In his first three NFL seasons, Starks has been sidelined by injuries to his hamstring (2010), ankle (2011), toe and then knee (both in 2012). He has played in just 22 of a possible 48 regular season games in his first three seasons.
Starks’ latest injury came during one of the most productive stretches of his career. After rushing for 132 yards in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins in relief of Eddie Lacy, who sustained a concussion, Starks looked like he was on his way to another 100-yard game in Week 3 against the Bengals. He rushed for 55 yards on 14 carries until his injury late in the second quarter.
The Packers expect to go with Lacy, who was cleared to return on Monday, and fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin, who appears to be over the foot injury he sustained against the Bengals. They also expect to have fullback John Kuhn, who missed the Bengals game because of a hamstring injury.
Also, the Packers ruled out cornerback Casey Hayward for the fourth straight game because of the hamstring injury he sustained in the preseason and backup offensive lineman Greg Van Roten, who sustained a potentially serious foot injury in practice on Monday.
Here’s the full injury report:
S Morgan Burnett (hamstring, full participation in practice)
CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring, full participation)
TE Jermichael Finley (concussion, full participation)
RB Johnathan Franklin (foot, full participation)
CB Casey Hayward (hamstring, out)
FB John Kuhn (hamstring, full participation)
RB Eddie Lacy (concussion, full participation)
LB Clay Matthews (hamstring, limited participation)
RB James Starks (knee, out)
G/C Greg Van Roten (foot, out)