Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that running back James Starks will likely practice Tuesday and could even play on Thursday in Detroit if all goes well during the week.
Starks was hurt during the fourth quarter of the Packers’ 35-26 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. He was bent back in the middle of a pile and needed assistance getting off the field. After the game, McCarthy called the injury a “knee sprain,” which hasn’t exactly been the kindest of injury assessments recently.
On Monday, the somber mood seemed to change. McCarthy called Starks “sore” but seemed optimistic that his second-year running back would test out the knee Tuesday at practice. If Starks passes the tests during the week, McCarthy said he’s “hopeful” that Starks would play against the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Other highlights from McCarthy’s Monday press conference:
- Receiver Greg Jennings has a knee bruise but should practice on Tuesday. All indications pointed to him being ready for Thursday.
- McCarthy didn’t seem worried about the schedule, and he also pointed out that Detroit is now on the exact same schedule. He feels good about where the Packers are at health-wise, too.
- Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel asked a good question about the Lions’ defensive line and their ability to win upfront against the Packers late last season. McCarthy said that the Lions’ play in the trenches was one of the major factors in their win in December of 2010. He also said that the Packers have focused mostly on tape from this season because the Lions have different players upfront, including rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley.
- McCarthy said that mental preparation was the most important part of this week. The Packers will spend limited time on the practice field to ensure the physical aspect of the game is intact. McCarthy said he won’t lose this game on Tuesday and Wednesday with grueling practices.
- McCarthy wasn’t worried about the punt protection issues that Tampa Bay may have exposed on Sunday. He said the special teams had an up and down day but that everything was correctable.
- He seemed very impressed with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He noted that the most important stat for a young quarterback is games played, and the experience is clearly starting to pay off. Stafford is having “a heck of a year.”
- McCarthy was pleased with the Packers production in the run game despite some of the struggles against one of the NFL’s worst run defenses. He said that Starks was getting better and stronger every week.
- There was no problems with playing on Thanksgiving. McCarthy called it an honor. You grow up watching the NFL on Thanksgiving and it’s a special game to be playing in.
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.Follow @zachkruse2
8 thoughts on “McCarthy: Packers RB James Starks Could Play Thursday”
One word to say to M&M.
Alex Green is out for the year. And Ryan Grant is not Ryan Grant anymore. Starks is the RB, and as much as I love Kuhn. We need Starks for the Playoffs.
Also agreed. Grant may or may not be over the hill but he can give us enough of a running game in what is likely to be an aerial battle. No need to risk Starks who is clearly the #1 back.
Agreed. Losing Starks for the season would have been a big blow. Doesn’t sound serious
Nah. If it’s a knee sprain then Starks can play on Thurs, but give Starks a game off because it will allow the knee to rest till next Sunday.
If I was coach, I would allow Starks to have minimal to light practice this week, put him down as a healthy scratch. Its going to be like 11 days until the next game.
makes you appreciate the fact that the pack has grant and starks. i would have love to seen what green could have done, but am impressed with what i saw in saine during preseason…. runs with some spunk. great blog, guys. always a treat to log on and read what you’ve got to say.
Let Starks sit and give him some company on the bench as in CM3 and Raji.
The TB game was the game I wanted these guys to sit and if we lost,fine.The game I was afraid of the most was the Det game coming on Thursday,not with the higher odds of losing the game but with the higher risk of fatigue injuries that may result from it…win or lose.
The fact that we almost lost to TB while playing everyone and allowed them to do what they did,is testament that we needed a week off and this was the toss away game to do it.
A loss Thursday with the loss of any significant starter on defense could make a loss to the G-Men more harmful to having Homefield through out the playoffs.
I’m not sure we can afford any completely healthy scratches with SF 9-1..
Be sensible with banged up players sure but the psychological effect of giving up this game -or being seen to is not worth the risk. IMO
I don’t think anyone on this team would think their giving up but would love the chance of next man up other than for an injury.
Filling in for a player that can play says you have enough trust in them to get it done.
The psychological aspect isn’t always negative.
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