Jake Roth- US PRESSWIRE
James Starks has not had one carry all season due to a turf toe injury that he suffered in the preseason, but it looks like he may finally get some touches this weekend for the Green Bay Packers. Originally, Starks was slated to come back after Week 1, but his turf toe injury took longer than expected to heal and now head coach Mike McCarthy wants Starks to try and fight through the pain to get back on the field.
“This is the week we want him to push through and see if we can get him the ball,” McCarthy said.
This statement by McCarthy looks like a sign to Starks to prove his worth with the team. He obviously sees something in Starks that makes him believe he can fight through this injury this weekend and play. Since the injury has taken longer to heal than anyone has expected, it is not a big surprise that McCarthy feels the urgency to get him back in action.
This season was looked at as a make-or-break year for Starks who was taking over as the full-time running back for the first time. However, just like the past, injuries have derailed his progress. Cedric Benson is now the starting running back for the Packers and so far he has not done too well. He is only averaging 3.6 yards per carry and hasn’t improved the Packers running game much from last season.
All of the blame can’t be put on Benson though, as coach McCarthy is still calling pass plays a majority of the time. There seems to be no rhythm to Green Bay’s running game. Starks has not impressed too much in his short career, but when he is able to come back he is expected to return to a role he is familiar with, splitting carries with Benson. These two together will provide a good combination of power from Benson and agility from Starks.
It is still yet to be determined whether Starks will be coming back this weekend, but it will be interesting to see how he will be incorporated into the offense. Starks needs to show some improvement soon or he may find himself sitting on the bench again, but this time not because of injury.
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