Packers-Chargers Preview: All Eyes on Alex Green All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Packers RB Alex Green
Packers RB Alex Green

When the Packers traveled to Minnesota last season, running back Alex Green was in line for an expanded role with the team.

However, Green suffered a torn ACL early in the game, thus putting an abrupt end to his big day, and closing the book on his rookie season after just four games.

But by all accounts, Green’s offseason rehab has gone extremely well. The second-year running back has been on the field since the beginning of training camp after undergoing knee surgery in the middle of November.

Green sat out of practice on Tuesday, but he’s expected to play in Thursday night’s preseason opener in San Diego. And if Green does indeed play against the Chargers, it will be interesting to see how he–and his knee–responds to full speed game contact.

The Packers have shown no interest in bringing back unrestricted free agent Ryan Grant, so in all likelihood, they’ll enter 2012 with Green and Brandon Saine behind starter James Starks.

And although Starks is certainly a terrific athlete, he’s been largely inconsistent throughout training camp. Starks flashes limitless potential, then follows it up with a dropped pass or missed block. And throughout his first two seasons, Starks has missed a full season of work due to injury, appearing in just 16 of a possible 32 games.

In all likelihood, Green will have an opportunity to be the Packers’ primary ball carrier at some point this season given Starks’s struggles to stay healthy.

When the Packers selected Green in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock raved about Green and expected an immediate impact as a rookie:

“The rich just get richer. Alex Green, I love … What (Green) is, is a downhill back … But what he does as well as any running back in this year’s draft–and people don’t know this–is catch the football. Alex Green is going to be an impact player this year for the Green Bay Packers.”

Obviously, a torn ACL prevented Green from making much of an impact in his first season, but 2012 will be a huge opportunity for him. As a senior at Hawaii, Green was one of the most explosive running backs in college football, averaging a gaudy 8.2 yards per carry playing in Hawaii’s spread offensive attack.

The Packers had high hopes for Green as a rookie before his season-ending injury, but as a natural pass catcher, he has a real chance at significant playing time this season.

Whether or not Green is able to bounce back from injury and make the most of his opportunity remains to be seen. But it all begins on Thursday night in San Diego.


Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


9 thoughts on “Packers-Chargers Preview: All Eyes on Alex Green

  1. The team physician, head athletic trainer and coaching staff have a pretty conservative history with rehabilitation off this injury. I’m guessing they treat pre-season games for Green as part of the rehab process and put him on a snap-count for each game, likely even the first 6 games in the regular season in special packages. Looking forward to seeing the kid, but I doubt he’s out there much this evening. When you look at the Packers depth chart (the quality depth) at RB, I doubt they want him out there much this evening.

  2. Is it possible to have an article written about a player and his possibilities without having to ‘beat the dead horse’about a fellow player(s)past fails or health issues…Starks.

    Does any writer actually feel that adding in the constant reminder of another makes the one written about in topic more appealing…NO! He still needs to show his play regardless of how bad someone writes of another.

    1. We could also try not ranting at the kind people who give us our daily Packers news fix. Thanks guys for all that you do. Couldn’t get through the week without you.

    2. Sorry to disappoint you, Tarynfor12.

      I wrote an article about Alex Green coming back from injury, and thought it was necessary to mention James Starks’s injury history when looking at the RB group as a whole. I’m a bit confused as to why this seems to be such an issue, but I just felt that Starks’s injury history was worth mentioning in the article. Thanks for your input.

    3. Um, Green will be competing with Starks. You can’t talk about Green’s possibilities without examining potential obstacles in his way – in this case Starks. I think the composition of Marques’ article makes perfect sense. So I disagree with your premise.

  3. Totally agreed D4L. I’ve noticed a lot of blogger-cide being committed by consuming fellow Packer fans lately.

    It is inappropriate and mean-spirited. Sarcasm works well in person, when two people know each other well. Not in print.

  4. If Starks keeps playing at his horrible pace Green has a good chance of getting more carries, yes I know pitch count and all but Starks looks pretty bad.

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