Packers XLV

A Perfect 10: Starks' Injury Will Test Offense Once Again

Posted December 5th, 2012 @ 03:12pm

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.


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Comments (3):

Packers fail to re-sign stud offensive lineman in offseason. WR injuries force other WR into starting roles. High expectation TE underperforms. Packers lose their starting and backup running back to season-ending injuries. Sound like 2012? How about 2005 when Pack let Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle leave. Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson both lost for the season due to injury. Bubba Franks drops from 7 TDs in 2004 down to 1TD in 2005. And then the Pack lost Ahman Green & Najeh Davenport. In 2005, we ended up starting Samkon Gado and had some late season heroics. This time, Pack sign Ryan Grant. Does he still have any juice left in the tank? We'll find out. We do have to give MM and Ted some credit. The 2005 season ended with a 4-12 record. We are in much better shape this year and have to think roster depth and coaching should receive at least some of the credit. GO PACK!

on December 5th, 2012 at 11:02pm

Nice comment Trashman, totally right. Sherman totally under achieved.

on December 6th, 2012 at 08:47am

When will the Packers start finding more durable players, who will be more fundamentally sound to avoid so many and kinds of the injuries they are constantly sustaining? The thinned out backfield and offensive line areas are the price the Packers are paying for the sentimentality of keeping Dona.ld Driver around for another year. I love DD as much as any fan but he's not done anywhere near enough to warrant a roster spot and cap space that could have been put into an o-lineman or back now. Don't expect much from Ryan Grant. The Packers didn't think enough of him to resign till now in desperation and no one else picked him up either. With no ota's, training camp or season Grant will not be in football shape. This move reminds of the resigning of Ahman Green in-season in 2009 when the Pack was similarly running out of running backs and that experiment produced nothing, except allowing Green to pass Jim Taylor to all-time Packers' rushing yardage leader. This had better be the last year that Thompson and McCarthy trust their rushing game to Starks. Three years and barely half-time service to show for it for a young player. I understand the reluctance to commit a first or high draft pick on a back but if Tampa Bay can find undrafted gems like LeGarrett Blount and Doug Martin surely TT should be able to use his reputed genius to find someone who can hold up and play in free agency, on someone's practice squad, the waiver wire or do a trade.

on December 8th, 2012 at 08:31am

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