This counters a report we heard earlier in the day suggesting the Pack could name Starks as its starting RB this week. It appears Green is the guy to pick up, but could still end up a committee situation. The matchup this week against the Texans is a bad one.
Though Alex Green flashed on his 41-yard run to set up the touchdown that put the Packers ahead 27-22, he may not have done enough to convince McCarthy and offensive coordinator Tom Clements that the starting job should be his.
The Packers will consider going with the more experienced James Starks, their starter through the playoff run to Super Bowl XLV who appears set to return from the turf toe injury that has kept him out since the preseason opener. Starks has been inactive for the first five games of the season. The only other halfback on the roster is Brandon Saine, who has played primarily on special teams.
Both backs should get work no matter who the starter is, but going to Starks to start makes a lot of sense due to his experience and the team should still have some faith in him. Either way, it's a tough matchup against the Texans this week and neither back is better than a flex option.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 8:29am
Starks hasn’t played since suffering a turf toe injury in the Aug. 9 preseason opener at San Diego – one day before Benson agreed to terms with the Packers – but was not listed on the injury report in advance of Sunday’s game after practicing in full all week.
Starks has his own long injury history, of course, having missed his senior season at the University of Buffalo with a shoulder injury, missed the first half of his rookie season in 2010 with a torn hamstring and having been hampered by knee and ankle injuries at the end of last season before the toe injury this year.
The Packers are at the Texans on Sunday night in a matchup that could limit the Packers running game on top of not having Benson. This is likely to be a committee situation, and John Kuhn could factor in as well along with the three backs mentioned above. None of these guys are solid plays heading into Week 6.
The Packers opened training camp with plans to use James Starks, Alex Green and Brandon Saine as their top three tailbacks, with John Kuhn serving as a swing fullback/tailback. And the news that Cedric Benson will miss at least eight weeks, and possibly the remainder season, because of a foot injury brings us back to that original arrangement.
Benson has a Lisfranc sprain of his foot, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and will miss the season if doctors determine surgery is necessary. And even if Benson could be ready in eight weeks, there is no certainty that the Packers would keep his roster spot open that long.
On Sunday, Alex Green turned 10 touches into 63 yards, including a nice 41-yard scamper that set up a touchdown in the fourth quarter. James Starks is healthy now and will also be in the mix. Even though Starks entered camp as the starter, the coaching staff may be willing to give Green an extended look since he is the more explosive runner. Benson is droppable in most formats since he won't be back until Week 14 at the earliest.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 5:08pm
Benson will get the start, but look for Green and John Kuhn to play on 3rd downs.
His worst moment came late in the first half when Benson hesitated and blocked outside while the linebacker he was supposed to block, Thomas Howard, shot through the middle to sack Aaron Rodgers.
"Eventually, you'd like to see Cedric be in position to stay in there for all three downs," running backs coach Alex Van Pelt said. "But I don't think he's done a lot of third down."
Packers beat writer Rob Reischel on the team's running backs and potential cuts: This positional group has been hammered by injuries throughout camp and is somewhat of a mystery. Cedric Benson signed Aug. 12 and began practicing Sunday. Benson has had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and unless he falls on his face, the Packers seem ready to make him their lead back. Alex Green is just beginning to regain his explosiveness after suffering an ACL tear last October. Coach Mike McCarthy loves Brandon Saine's versatility, smarts and steadiness. He's been fighting a hamstring injury but should survive. The surprise here would be the Packers giving up on James Starks, their No. 1 back early in camp. But injuries have limited Starks to just 16 games his first two years, and he's out again with a turf toe. Dating back to his days at Buffalo, Starks has missed time five straight years. At some point, his inability to stay on the field will cost him. The guess is it's now. Marc Tyler seems a good bet for the practice squad.
It would be surprising for the Packers to cut Starks especially since the position is still pretty thin. Reportedly, Cedric Benson has been very motivated and if Starks is out of the picture, he could have an RB2-type year. The main issue with Benson is that he hasn't brought much in the passing game, though his YPC and Catch % have been respectable over last couple of years. It's possible that Benson would do better with more opportunity.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 12:25pm
Packers second-year back Alex Green has started to find his stride in practice. Green is cutting and sprinting with more confidence these last two practices and will probably get a longer look in Green Bay's next exhibition game. James Starks and Brandon Saine could lose ground.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 11:06am
The Packers' running backs group was slim without Ryan Grant and Alex Green participating. Grant remains a free agent and Green is still aiming to return for training camp. It all means that James Starks will have an opportunity to be the top back. An ankle injury suffered against Tampa Bay Nov. 20 derailed him last year. He never quite got back to full strength. As expected, he was the starter Tuesday.
"Starks has played a lot and he's lining up there right now," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. "We have some new additions. Brandon Saine is back. He did well in spot duty last year. So he should be better, James should be better."
We currently have Starks ranked as the #26 RB in standard formats, but that would change if the Packers re-sign Grant or bring in another veteran player.
Friday, May 11, 2012, 11:39am
More than six months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green is running four days a week. He recently met with the team's physician, Dr. Pat McKenzie, who is hopeful Green will be ready for training camp. Green has stayed ahead of schedule all off-season.
With Ryan Grant’s future still in limbo, that's key. Late July remains Green's target.
“My speed is picking up daily,” Green said Thursday. “Every day, I’m running at a faster pace. It’s going pretty good right now. I’m definitely excited with where I’m at.”
Green was just starting to find his place within the Packers’ offense when he tore the ACL in his left knee Oct. 23 at Minnesota while blocking on a kick return. Two weeks prior, he caught a third-down pass at Atlanta. And, most importantly, his comfort level in the scheme was high. Coaches like his vision and ability to maneuver in space.
The Packers haven't shown much interest in signing a veteran RB to join James Starks, Green, Brandon Saine and John Kuhn in the backfield, so they must feel pretty good about Green's prospects for 2012. If the team doesn't sign another RB, Starks would project to be the starter, but his upside is limited due to the pass-heavy nature of the offense and Kuhn's presence as the team's goal line back. Aaron Rodgers is also a threat to steal a few TD runs.
Friday, December 30, 2011, 8:09pm
Friday, December 23, 2011, 6:27pm
Packers RB James Starks (knee, ankle, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 16. Brandon Saine (concussion, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 16. Green Bay's four-headed monster is back, and given the bad matchup versus the Bears, none of the Packer RBs are fantasy relevant this week.
Thursday, December 22, 2011, 6:47pm
Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 7:51pm
Friday, December 16, 2011, 7:08pm
Packers RB James Starks (knee, ankle, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 15. With RB Brandon Saine (concussion, questionable) likely out, the Packers are thin at RB at the moment, and may activate Starks for use in an emergency. We're betting that Ryan Grant and John Kuhn get most of the work out of the Green Bay backfield. For his part, Starks says he expects to play.
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