I just recorded a podcast on the Packers running backs with my colleagues Jason Perone and Marques Eversoll. One of them, I can’t remember which, asked an interesting question: Will Brandon Saine make the Packers roster over James Starks?
Saine missed most of the 2012 season after blowing out his knee. He has 18 carries for 69 yards in his career and has contributed some on special teams.
Starks has missed all kinds of time with various injuries throughout his three-year career. When healthy, Starks shows just enough to get Packers fans excited before breaking/spraining/pulling/straining one of his limbs or muscles.
When this topic first came up, I thought it was a silly question. I didn’t think there was any way Saine could be on the team over Starks. But as the conversation carried on, I changed my mind.
Will Mike McCarthy have the patience to deal with Starks if he comes up lame yet again in training camp or the preseason? Will McCarthy even want to deal with the risk of Starks getting hurt again?
It sounds like McCarthy wants to find a back that can carry the load this season instead of always plugging in different players. Given Starks’ injury history, I’m not sure he meets the coach’s criteria.
Saine doesn’t fit that criteria either, but he can play special teams. Perhaps he also benefits a bit from lower expectations. Saine doesn’t need to be a bell-cow running back in order to earn a roster spot. If Starks isn’t running well, there’s not much else he brings to the table.
Of course, Saine is coming off a major injury himself, so this entire discussion could be moot if he’s limping around in training camp.
For some reason, there’s still a part of me that thinks Starks might have it in him and become the running back he was during the Super Bowl run. It might be the delusional part of me, but it’s still a part of me.
My money is still on Starks wearing a Packers jersey over Saine in 2013. That’s a major injury that Saine is coming back from.
What say you, fine readers of ALLGBP.com?
Perhaps none of this will matter if the Packers draft Eddie Lacy and he runs for 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns…——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .