GREEN BAY – It’s easy to forget – especially given how he’s found his way into the Green Bay Packers’ doghouse after yet another injury – that James Starks not only entered training camp as the team’s starting running back, he also played a pretty key role in the Packers’ 2010 run to the Super Bowl XLV title.
“Nobody really remembers that,” Starks said Thursday, as he, Alex Green and Brandon Saine prepared for Sunday night’s game at Houston, where the Packers will be without starter Cedric Benson after the Lisfranc foot injury he suffered against Indianapolis. “That's in the past to me. That's how I feel. I haven't done nothing yet. I'm planning on trying to do something this week, that's all that really matters.”
How much of an opportunity Starks will get remains to be seen. Coach Mike McCarthy made it clear earlier this week that Green will get the starting nod, and while the coach did say he will ride the “hot hand,” Starks’ latest injury has him fighting an uphill battle for his old job.
After missing his senior season at the University of Buffalo with a shoulder injury, the first half of the 2010 season with a torn hamstring suffered on the eve of his first NFL training camp and knee and ankle injuries that hampered him in the second half of 2011, Starks suffered a turf toe injury in the Aug. 9 preseason opener and hasn’t played since. Even though he was off the injury report last week – making him, by definition, healthy – Starks was inactive against the Colts.
“(I’m) not completely healthy, but I've felt a lot better than where I was,” Starks said. “Opportunities don't come much, so I've got to make the most out of every opportunity I receive. I'm sure I will.
“I really don't know how many carries I'll receive or things like that. At the same time, we're running back by committee so I'm just going to go with the flow.”
Starks said the coaches told him he was inactive against the Colts because he wasn’t ready with some of his assignments after being sidelined for so long.
“I was practicing, trying to get ready to play. At the time, I didn't have my reads and stuff right. I was rusty,” Starks said. “(It’s) time to go, get things rolling. Do what I know I can do, what I should have been doing. I'll be ready.”
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