A Perfect 10: Starks' Injury Will Test Offense Once AgainPosted:Dec 5th, 2012 3:30 pm
Update: Mere seconds after posting this, the Packers announced the signing of Ryan Grant to bolster the running game. While it fills an immediate need with a player who knows the system backwards and forwards, it renders the following post meaningless. Fear not, I'll come up with something else to write today.
Alex Green, you're about to get your close up. With the stunning news that James Starks appears lost for the season with a knee injury suffered late in the game on Sunday, the Pack's resurgent running game has taken a nasty hit--and it may not be able to get up.
Starks would make it 10 players on IR this season, yet the team still has all of its goals in front of it. Three divisional games remain and the Pack has won ten straight within the North. Keep the streak going and win out and the Packers will likely have the #2 seed and a first round bye.
But losing Starks hurts. The two-headed monster of Starks and Green combined for 124 yards against the Vikings and we know that we need that kind of production as the weather turns and the games start to mean more.
Get your Kuhn chants ready. We're likely to get a larger dose of John Kuhn as a complement to Green, who will have to carry the load the rest of the way. It would be nice to think that either Johnny White or DuJuan Harris will grab a hold of this opportunity and provide another option. But it's unlikely that either is ready to handle all facets of the job (namely blitz pick-up, pass protection and the no huddle).
Most likely, the Pack will have to rely a bit more on the passing game, putting additional pressure on the offensive line. It will be interesting to see if TJ Lang can play this week. And if he does, will he go back to right tackle? Or will he return to left guard where he is very good--giving rookie Don Barclay a chance at holding down the right tackle job?
A lot of teams are dealing with injuries, but the Pack and Steelers seem to have had more than their share this season. The Starks injury is a major one, make a thin position even thinner. Does the Pack reach out to Ryan Grant? Do they stick with what they have? We'll find out in the coming days.