Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Role Will James Starks Play On Sunday?

Instead of discussing the dumb question whether QB Aaron Rodgers is a great leader (of course he is), it's better to write about a real football question.
Of course, they'll be happy to have Jennings back and he'll slide right back into his starting role. Wilson should still be their run stopper at defensive end and he might play a bigger role if they focus on stopping RB Marshawn Lynch.

But what role will Starks play on Sunday? Will he play at all? I don't have an answer and I don't expect Mike McCarthy will reveal his plans in a press conference either. Here are the players he could replace on the 45-man active roster this Sunday.

RB Cedric Benson. I haven't seen anything to indicate that the Packers aren't happy with him or he'll be removed as the starter. It's possible they'll simply re-insert Starks into the starting role and deactivate Benson on Sunday, but that seems unlikely. Especially since Mike McCarthy said Starks will have some "transition time."

RB Brandon Saine. Surprisingly, this seems like the least likely move. Saine has been covering punts and kicks over the first two games and I can't recall ever seeing Starks on special teams. He certainly hasn't been a leading special teams tackler, an honor that was shared last season by LBs D.J. Smith and Brad Jones.

RB Alex Green. On the other hand, I haven't seen Green on special teams this season and that could be intentional as they easy his surgically reconstructed knee back into action. If Starks takes anyone's place on Sunday, it probably would be Green's.

Bottom line, unless Starks slides back into the starting role and pushes Benson aside, which seems unlikely, I'm not sure what he'll be doing against the Seahawks. He might take Green's role of carrying the ball a couple times or he might spend a lot of time standing on the sidelines. Even if he doesn't play much (if at all) on Sunday, you never know when they'll need him to take over a prominent role again.

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