Packers Rule Out James Starks and Desmond Bishop for Sunday’s Game With Raiders

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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy announced on Friday that his team would be without the services of running back James Starks and linebacker Desmond Bishop on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Neither practiced on Friday.

Starks, the Packers leading rusher this season with 565 yards, left his third straight game last Sunday in New York with an ankle injury. In his absence, the Packers will lean more on Ryan Grant with undrafted rookie free agent Brandon Saine seeing snaps on passing downs.

Bishop will miss his second straight game because of a calf strain he suffered in Detroit. Fellow inside linebacker A.J. Hawk is listed as questionable with the same injury, and rookie D.J. Smith would start along side Hawk if he can go on Sunday. Without Bishop and Hawk in the lineup last week, the Packers surrendered 100 rushing yards on just 20 carries to the Giants. The Raiders currently rank third in the NFL in rushing this season.

Josh Sitton will also miss his second straight game with a knee strain. A timetable for his return hasn’t been officially set, so it’s unclear when Sitton might return to the field. Evan Dietrich-Smith will make his second start in Sitton’s place.

Vic So’oto had a flair up on a back injury he suffered earlier this season and won’t play. Chad Clifton (hamstring) was also ruled out. Clifton hasn’t played since Week 5 in Atlanta and may not return during the regular season.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • Mr. Bacon

    Give a majority of the RB snaps to Brandon, because as much as I like Grant, he is just going to run into the blockers and be indecisive on the runs.

    Just make one cut, or no cuts. Don’t dance in the backfield Grant.

  • Wagszilla

    Good.
    It’s very wise to get these guys rest for the playoff run.

    Also I agree and disagree Bacon.
    Agree that Grant doesn’t have much left in the tank but disagree because I think Saine will catch people off guard kind of like Starks did last year if we don’t unveil him early.

    I’d really like to see some double wheel routes and trips in the playoffs. I think there’s a lot of untapped potential on this O as scary as that is to say.

    Too bad we don’t have B-Jack anymore.

  • Ron LC

    No need to bring anyone back before the playoffs. Only risk is losing home field for all NFC games. The big difference, GB has AR and they don’t.